For many people, pets are a pleasant way to compensate for a stressful working day. But how do the animals cope when their master or mistress only has time after work?
There is a slight snore under the desk. While Katharina Kammacher is working, her cocker spaniel Epi dozes on his blanket and dreams of the next walk. They are both lucky: dogs are allowed in the office of the German Animal Welfare Association in Bonn. However, it is not always easy to combine a pet with a full working day. Working people should therefore find out in good time whether their dream animal can manage on its own and whether it is still active after work.
Do dogs feel good in the office?
"Dogs are very suitable to take with you to work," says Marius Tünte from the German Animal Welfare Association. It is not surprising that there are four other dog colleagues in addition to Epi in the association's Bonn office. But also some other employers have nothing against animal society in the workplace.
Tünte knows about hairdressing salons, insurance offices and authorities where employees are allowed to bring their dogs. “It is important that the dog has a place where it can withdraw, that it is not too loud and that the owner or mistress takes the animal for a walk during the break,” he explains.
What to do if the dog is not allowed into the office?
If dogs are not allowed in the workplace, it is better to choose another pet. Because the loyal four-legged friend needs intensive contact with his caregiver. Tünte does not consider a dog day care center or a gas service to be a suitable solution.
Ornamental birds are also unsuitable for employed people with a full working day. "Because they need a lot of activity and free flight," explains Antje Schreiber from the Central Association of Zoological Specialists. Those who are out of the home for eight or more hours do not do justice to these animals.
Can you keep cats alone in the apartment?
It's different with a cat. If she can get out and back in through a cat flap during the day, she can do well on her own for a while. Cats that cannot go outside and are alone during the day are better kept in pairs. The two animals should get along well and be used to each other. "Otherwise they'll take the apartment apart," warns Schreiber.
In any case, phase or nocturnal animals - like cats - are well suited for working people. Because they are still in the mood for playing or cuddling even after 6 p.m. Rats, various types of mice and dwarf hamsters are also still awake after work.
Are rabbits and other small animals suitable for professionals?
Popular petting animals such as rabbits or guinea pigs can also be arranged with a full working day - if you follow a few rules. The animals, like rats and mice, should always be kept in groups. If you only have time in the evening, you should also pay attention to species-appropriate toys and a large, well-structured enclosure. According to Tünte, there are multi-level enclosures for rabbits and guinea pigs that are well suited.
For those who prefer to observe animals, an aquarium can be the right choice. The waking phase of the fish can be influenced to a certain extent by the lighting period. "You have to guarantee lighting for ten to twelve hours anyway," explains Daniela Rickert from the Veterinary Association for Animal Welfare. For example, if you turn on the light from eight in the morning to eight in the evening, you will notice something from the swimming roommates after work.
How do fish cope with a long absence?
Even occasional business trips are no problem for fish: “There are now time switches that enable automatic feeding. You can even call up water and temperature tests on your mobile phone, ”explains Schreiber. Anyone who is out for more than a day should still ask neighbors or friends to see the aquarium shortly.
Whether it's a business trip or overtime - those who keep an animal need a network of animal-loving people who can step in in an emergency. Tünte suggests rehearsing an emergency beforehand. "This way you can get the animal used to it and see how everyone involved is coping with it."
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Can you keep a pet "part time"?
Working people who constantly work overtime and are on the road a lot should ask themselves whether there is any time for an animal at all. If you find that the animal you want does not suit your own lifestyle, you might find a pet part-time: "Many animal shelters offer sponsorships, for example for cats, or are looking for dog walkers," says Tünte.
| Updated November 13, 2015