Behavioral problems, “desocialization” of dogs, lack of accessibility to veterinary care, mass adoption, in the midst of a pandemic, will undoubtedly bring its share of problems for both animals and their owners.
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At least that’s what dog trainers, animal health technicians and shelter owners anticipate, interviewed by The newspaper.
“When the pandemic is over, we will go back to work outside. And people are going to be excited to be able to go out, so they’re going to go out more and leave their dog home alone. They are not used to being on their own. They will develop separation anxiety, fear and boredom, ”says Danielle Gauthier De Varennes, dog trainer, owner of Éducation canine des quatre pattes.
“A dog who lives in a condo and barks all day, or one who destroys everything because he is bored, that can cause a lot of problems, and even lead to euthanasia”, fears the specialist in canine behavior.
“Dogs don’t get stomach ulcers. If they are anxious, they will eat chair legs. Behavioral problems, there are going to be some, ”says Serge Boudrias, president of the Union of Quebec Canine Breeders.
Although less important, behavioral disorders could also appear in cats, says Ms. Gauthier De Varennes. “If they do nothing more, cats can for example meow at night or scratch on the couch”, she explains, specifying that it is essential to maintain a “routine of activities” with her animal. .
The “furious madness” surrounding the adoption of dogs is also in question, believes for her part Leattytia Badibanga, founder of a group of ethical shelters, Les Pattes Jaunes.
“We had candidates who usually spent several months in shelters, for example, pitbull type dogs due to regulations, or dogs with aggression problems which left very quickly,” says Ms. Badibanga.
A golden retriever breeder also fears an increase in bite cases.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see more bites. It is a direct consequence of poorly educated dogs. We risk seeing more, ”says Monick Drolet.
Lack of socialization
In addition, the pandemic and the confinement also cause a lack of socialization in dogs. A problem that must be worked on as quickly as possible, say the educators.
“I have dogs that bark as soon as a stranger arrives. Others who are afraid or tremble when they see a car. If a dog does not go out, does not see anyone for a long time, it becomes unsocial and that is what we see with the pandemic, ”says Gauthier De Varennes.
Access to veterinary and grooming services will also be more difficult following this significant increase in the number of adoptions in Quebec, says Nathalie Clément, breeder and educator, owner of Passion Canin.
“Already, most veterinary clinics are no longer taking new clients,” she worries.
—With Simon Baillargeon