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Millions of dogs and cats suffer post-pandemic depression after living with their owners during confinements

After living together intensely for a year and a half, the new normal could lead to depression, fear and anxiety in pets.

Those of us who stay at home as a result of the health emergency know it. Sleeping, eating, working, watching television and resting is done together with our pets. Whether on the couch, on the floor, or on your lap, pets that live at home they become part of the family dynamic.

As such, the permanent closeness that was generated in times of COVID-19 with them it might turn out not so healthy. Some experts say that dogs and cats could suffer depression when separated from their loved ones once the new normal is established and offices and other public spaces reopen.

Obsession for company

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Just as personal limits and family dynamics were changed by mass confinements to avoid contagion, a considerable number of people around the world opted for seek company from home. One of the most popular solutions was to adopt or buy pets. To deal with lethargy and anguish, get a furry company that he will not deny food or complain about the confinement it turned out to be a good solution in the medium term.

Nick Paumgarten, a correspondent for The New Yorker, identified this phenomenon as an ‘easy way out’ from loneliness, sadness and anguish:

“No matter how you handle the numbers, pet adoption became an obsession in the time of COVID-19. A story emerged that people, confined to their homes, deprived of contact with the outside world, and often suffering emotional or psychological distress, were adopting more pets than usual.[…]. “

Suddenly caring for a pet served many as a palliative against pandemic stress. With a pet, connecting to virtual meetings or taking distance classes became less difficult. However, a new challenge is imposed for people who developed this type of close relationship with their companion animals. With the new normal both sides could be severely affected.

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A new distance

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Pets are sentient beings. Although they do not understand reality as we human beings perceive it, it is a reality that they establish affective bonds with those who share space, food and experiences. Even more so in times of such closeness and intimacy, such as those that occurred from the Mandatory lockdowns due to the pandemic for more than a year and a half.

As such, the pets that live with us have become used to feeling close to us. Being at home with them all day – or most of the week – they assume that this dynamic can go on indefinitely. However, it is not the case. On the contrary, they will begin to not see us at home. Little by little, that imposed distance could generate in the pets depression, fear and anxiety.

Finally, just like humans, pets they feel the absence. They miss. They feel pain when they are not close to their loved ones. The feeling of abandonment is a real risk, that each family must face as best as possible.

One of the most viable solutions is to do the progressive post-pandemic separation process, to the point that the animals do not feel the impact so abrupt. The new distance that the ‘return to the world’ will generate will certainly generate breakthroughs. What how healthy they will still remain unknown, in the air.

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