Working from home has brought attention to pets' health issues

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A dog getting checked by a veterinarian. Source: ERR

People who are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic have begun noticing issues with their pets' health. Interest for animals is gradually increasing and that has led to more of them visiting the vet, leading to long queues.

One of the reasons why more dogs visit the vet's offices is linked to a general increase in people getting pets. Young dog owner Aksel Tobias told ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" that everyone on his street has a dog. Some even have multiple. So he wanted one too.

"One night, we wanted to get a pet and then we looked at a beautiful dog, but no female was born where we went looking for it and we were in a queue. And then we looked for other dogs. In January or February, we were able to get the dog that we have now," Tobias said.

Tiina Toomet, a veterinarian, said the number of people taking their pets to the vet has increased significantly. "Puppy vaccinations, chipping, there are more of all these things," Toomet noted.

Queues to see veterinarians have also increased. "We do not have any times open for the next day. It has gone to where I used to always have spare times available, now there simply is not. Trully, the queues have developed, even for simpler things such as vaccinations," Toomet said.

Veterinarians say the long queues are also caused by people noticing the health issues of their pets more when they are working from home. "Earlier, it was that you saw that your cat had thrown up once, whatever. But now, when they are home all day, they certainly notice it more, that oh, this cat throws up every couple of hours," said Pet City animal clinic manager Jürgen Mitt.

At the same time, vets are also worried about dogs that get too used to their owners being home all the time during the pandemic. "Just last spring, we saw that dog trainers got a lot more work because dogs are barking at home when nobody is there. They are impatient, they do not want to be in their cages, they are just used to always having a person present," Mitt said.

Tiina Toomet noted however that getting a dog during the pandemic can ease the animal's early development stages.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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