What changes does the quarantine bring for pets?

In this quarantine we need animal company, although it is also not advisable to burden them with affection .

Woman taking a selfie with her dog.

The routine of our pets has been altered with our continued presence at home by quarantine. / Photo: Pexels - cottonbro

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Isolation allows us to spend much more time than usual with our pets. Accustomed to us being away from home during the day, they are likely to have strange behaviors. For example, the Infobae media mentions that currently "we modify their routine".

In other words, they create their own schedule, which is based on when we get up to go to work, for example. However, as a result of this situation, it is possible that they manifest some strange behaviors, as occurs with cats, which seem "desperate to go outside". Let's see, then, other possible consequences.

Consequences of isolation on pets

If we thought that the coronavirus would affect only us, unfortunately, we were wrong. For example, the Marca newspaper mentions that Bogotá would have increased the number of pet abandonments. Surely, this situation is due to the economic crisis that resulted from the quarantine, with many job losses and reductions at the economic level.

If we are not one of those who decide to abandon our loved ones to luck, we should know that, in the same way, we could have attitudes that are annoying to them. One of these comes from the extensive affection we give them, due to the fact that we have more free time to spend with them.

To understand it, we must know that all pets put together a kind of schedule based on our own. In other words, they know exactly when you get up in the morning, so they will ask you for food at that time since they know that later you will not be able to give it to them because you will be away from home.

However, now that you “disarm” that mental routine that they put together, they interpret that they can do whatever they want. Now they will not only ask you for food at that time, but they will take advantage of your presence to meet their needs. For example, they will go to the bathroom more or eat more.

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It also happens with dogs, since the website of El Independiente comments that dogs "are barking more than usual", because the socialization to which they were accustomed has changed.

At the same time, it is likely that during the day they were used to sleeping or staying quiet. However, since you are at home and need to relax, you will surely go to kiss or hug them, although it may be an inappropriate time for them. 

In other words, they themselves could develop "anxiety symptoms" as a result of this confinement, as Clarín mentions, this is something that can be seen in cats that are constantly hiding or are restless. Just as we modify our behaviors, they also do it.

So, surely you are wondering how to prevent animals from changing their behaviors. Well, there are several tips that we can implement. According to what El Diario de Carlos Paz comments, it is ideal to try to keep the routine "as similar as possible to what was prior to quarantine." I mean, if you were used to taking your pet out three times a week, you may not be able to, but you should do it at least once. 

Another important point could be to avoid "bothering them" when they are calm. Although we think that we are doing something good, the truth is that we are modifying the routine that they had established. Just as humans need to maintain an organized structure, space for pets is important. Let's try not to affect them!