Home office and homeschooling: In the corona crisis, more people stay at home more often. Sometimes the pet becomes the last point of contact in your own four walls. But what does that mean for animals? And what to do when the end of the home office is imminent?
Most pets in Germany are perceived similarly to family members. Waldi or Miezi maintain intensive relationships with a range of rituals. But what happens when this rhythm, which has sometimes been trained for years, gets out of joint, as is currently the case with the corona crisis? How should home office owners behave towards their darling? And what to do when the lockdown and home office are over again?
« Even pets, whose owners or families are currently more at home, experience the current situation as another, because their everyday lives have also changed, Verena Wirosaf, veterinarian and specialist for pets at the German Animal Welfare Association, summarized in an interview with ntv.de. « Dogs are known to be highly social beings. So you will enjoy more time with your people. »
Retreat for every animal
Cats, on the other hand, are considered to be more independent of humans. « But many of these furry companions will now want to use the situation to be cuddled more or to play with their people more often, » Wirosaf continues. « However, it is important that the animal can also come to rest if it needs it, » emphasizes the veterinarian. Every pet must therefore have a retreat where it can rest or sleep undisturbed. In addition to the owners themselves, this place must also respect children and guests. Otherwise there can be drastic reactions in some of the animals.
For example, there are cats who do not like too much hustle and bustle and who show this. You may then start pounding, hissing, or crawling to other places than usual. Cats that are free to move, i.e. cats that are allowed to go outside, should not be blocked in any way.
Cats become unclean, dogs hyperactive
If humans do not allow their animals enough rest or if the animal roommates experience too much stress, including within the family, the animals resort to other means. For example, some cats start to become unclean and even pee where they usually relax. Some dogs, on the other hand, want to encourage their people to do more. They then start barking for no apparent reason or can develop a certain type of hyperactivity. Unusual behavior should therefore always be interpreted by the owner as a call for help from the animal. If you are unsure what to do in these cases, you can get tips from the veterinarian.
Some cats particularly show that it is just too much for them to develop what is known as stress cystitis. This inflammation of the urinary bladder occurs in domestic cats with no apparent cause. Stress is therefore considered an essential factor. If it becomes calmer again with such a stressed animal, the symptoms often disappear.
Typical signs of the disease include blood in the urine, frequent urination of small amounts outside of the litter box and expressions of pain when urinating. Owners who observe such symptoms in their animal over a period of one to a maximum of two days should present it to a veterinarian. However, if the animal no longer urinates or sits in the toilet several times in pain and nothing comes, it should be presented to a veterinarian immediately. In a few cases, the urinary tract can become blocked, which in turn is a life-threatening condition for the cat. « Urine builds up and the otherwise filtered substances can » poison « the body from the inside, » explains Wirosaf.
How much rest does my animal need?
« It depends on several factors and each animal is individual, » says the expert. Accordingly, each animal also needs different breaks at different times of the day or night. Puppies and young cats in particular sleep a lot more than adult animals. This need for rest should be considered and taken into account by the keeper for a healthy development. And old pets also rest and sleep more. When the animals need to rest, the weather also plays a decisive role. Since dogs and cats cannot regulate their body temperature by sweating like humans, they like to lie down in a cool, shady place at high temperatures in summer and need permanent access to fresh water.
If the mood at home is more tense because people lockdown the ceiling falls on the head, you should also keep in mind that such moods can be transferred to animals. This is also why a quiet place for retreat is urgently needed.
And when the home office is over?
When people go back to work or school in the normal way from one day to the next, everyday life for the animals will change again. « It could then be particularly radical for dogs that may have been purchased during the corona and home office period and do not yet know how to stay alone, but have tied themselves closely to their owner or owner, » says Wirosaf. But the change is also great for dogs that were previously used to being alone for a few hours, as they were allowed to spend almost 24 hours with their humans for a long time thanks to the corona-related home office.
But cats who had got used to the many hours with their humans could now resent the absence after the time of the home office. Neighbors then get to hear this or see holders themselves in the form of scratch marks. In this case, you should gradually train to stay alone and carefully bring the animals back to the situation. The time that the beloved pet has to be alone should be slowly increased. Ideally, there is even the possibility that a neighbor will come by or that you can take your dog to the office. However, this must first be approved by superiors and colleagues.
By the way: Even if the time gained with the pet tempts you to cuddle more intensely with your pet, keepers should always be aware that they themselves could transfer Sars-CoV-2 to the animal. People who test positive should urgently keep away from their darling. Nevertheless, in the event of infection or a quarantine in the home, the animal should remain with its owner if possible.