Bearing in mind that many of us have pets, it is of great importance that we are informed about the care to be taken with them. Above all, at a time like the one we live in today. Gonçalo da Graça Pereira, European Veterinary Specialist in Animal Behavior, guarantees that there are behaviors that, if they are appropriate to the current situation, can prevent problems when we return to normal.
Here are the expert tips:
- It is important to keep daily routines as much as possible, so that when everything returns to normal, there are no changes in the behavior of our animals. Especially, if they are older animals, which can be disoriented more easily with the change of routine / habits.
- It is also important that animals that used to be alone have moments in their day-to-day when they are. This does not mean setting them apart, but rather that they have an area of the house where they have toys, where, for example, we hide cookies to look for. The goal is to have fun in this space in a positive way, but alone, as they did when tutors were away from home working.
- We must encourage all types of play, and here children can be of help. All types of games and interactions are well accepted, especially those of exploration and those involving smell. An example of a very simple game is to put a few pieces of apple inside a cardboard egg box so that the dog has to chew the box to get the prize, the apple.
- In the case of cats, there is nothing better than a cardboard box to entertain them.
- Even with regard to cats, we can never forget to respect their nature. This means, especially when there are children at home, that cats that are used to being alone at home, can maintain this habit. Ensure that each cat has a place that can be isolated, if you wish, during the day.
OUT OF HOME:
- Unfortunately, the rules of the State of Emergency apply not only to people, but also to their four-legged friends. In this sense, the tours must be short, which does not mean that they have to be boring.
- Dogs must always walk on a leash and never let go, and the leashes must be at least 2 meters long so that the dog can have some freedom of movement.
- To make these walks more fun, we must let them use their sense of smell, one of the senses that dogs most like to use, thus making these walks interactive.
- We must prevent them from approaching other dogs and people, since, being non-transmissible, they can be carriers of the virus. We have to realize that the fur is the dog’s clothes and the paws its shoes. Once again, social isolation applies not only to people, but also to our animals. Contrary to what is always recommended, unfortunately, at this stage, social distance is for everyone!
- In order for our four-legged friends, who like to host parties so much, to be able to make their walks without approaching people or dogs, the tutor should always try to make the dog only pay attention to him and reward him with a biscuit, for example.
- If it is the first dog outings, socialization being really important, new stimuli must be presented, but the safety distance must be maintained and, in order for there to be a positive association, reward him with parties and cookies.
Both inside and outside the home, if this type of care exists, you can avoid future problems, when everything returns to normal. However, all tutors who have questions or need help for a specific situation, the ideal is to consult an expert in animal behavior that allows to anticipate potential behavioral diseases.