Staying at home due to coronavirus can generate stress in dogs and cats: here are the vet's advice to manage the period.
The emergency due to the spread of the new one coronavirus requires everyone to spend as much time as possible a home, reducing exits only to urgent or essential issues. For pet owners this corresponds to a new routine, a renewed way of spending time with the dog and with the cat, not always easy to manage. But what are i advice to get the best out of this complex period, where humans and quadrupeds find themselves sharing spaces for most of the day?
Most of the animals are used to a “part-time” relationship with the owners: in their routine, it is common ground that the human friend leaves home for a few hours, obviously for work reasons. The sudden stay in the home throughout the day, however much it can be absolutely appreciated by the animals that suffer the most from separation, can also be stressful: every change is in fact complex for domestic quadrupeds.
Sabrina Giussani, Veterinary Physician expert in Animal Behavior and Senior President of S.I.S.C.A – the Italian Society of Animal Behavior Sciences – wanted to provide useful advice for dog and cat owners. The first step is to not transfer your anxiety and concern, understandable in this period, to the pet:
The dog and the cat understand our language and our emotions, therefore it is better to limit the manifestations of stress and agitation to avoid transferring a sense of anxiety to them.
Then follows an attention toaffectivity, who must be present and sincere, however in moderation. The risk is in fact to annoy the animal, as it is continuously stimulated and disturbed, as well as made uncomfortable by an environment that is suddenly filled with noise and liveliness.
Pampering the cat or dog relaxes us and distracts us from negative facts and news, but be careful not to overdo the requests for attention, play or pampering that they are. (…) This is a time that we can use to get to know our animal better and strengthen the relationship. When we see that the dog or cat is available, it is the right time to propose new games or cuddles and discover new ways to be well together.
With regard to dog management, the expert recommends:
- Maximum 3-4 dogs at a time in the open area, for about 20 minutes, respecting the safety distances with the other people present;
- Propose no more than 3-4 walks per day, also in consideration of the limitation of travel and in anticipation of a future return to normal;
- Do not overdo the premiums in food, thus removing the risk of being overweight;
- Furnish balconies and gardens with dog-friendly tools, such as soft cushions, to spend quality time together.
For feline friends instead we recommend:
- Hiding crunchies, respecting the cat's daily ration, under the carpet or a towel, to stimulate a game and discovery phase in the animal;
- Fill a basin with two fingers of water and float a ball or a paper boat, playing with the cat to push it in various directions on the surface of the water;
- Fill a cardboard box with paper balls and throw a toy mouse inside: the cat will have fun finding him inside the container;
- Build a paper airplane and challenge the cat to catch him during the flight.
To manage or prevent stress in dogs and cats it is also useful to resort to pheromones, Which Adaptil is Feliway. These products, by stimulating the senses of the animal, restore calm in a natural way, making the environment reassuring for the four-legged friend. Born from the search for Ceva Animal Health, these products have been designed to improve the relationship between the owner and your pet, with support in times of unease that can guarantee maximum happiness together.