Caring for a Dog During COVID-19

Picture of a dog and woman

Recently, WHO has changed its views on whether pets can transmit the novel Coronavirus. On March 12th, 2020, a dog in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease, but he had been living with both of his guardians, both of whom had been infected with the pathogen.

The dog didn’t show any symptoms, but it seems that while there is no specific evidence that cats and dogs can infect humans with this medical problem, it’s not an unlikely scenario.

But what happens if you still want to properly care for your canine friend and you don’t want to get the novel Coronavirus, either? We’ll discuss several tips for dog parents in this article.

Try to Keep Your Calm

For some unknown reason, people decided they should shop for toilet paper, out of all the things that they might need during an epidemic. Of course, they shopped for disinfectant, gloves, face masks (if they were lucky enough to find any), and stocked up on non-perishable food, too, but they started with toilet paper.

You can’t fight instincts if humans are incapable of predicting what’s going to happen. It seems that many chose toilet paper just because it’s big, so it offered them some degree of confidence that it’s going to be okay.

Many have shopped for pet food, too, but from what we were able to tell, they didn’t do it excessively. The point we’re trying to make here is that, at least in terms of pet supplies, you aren’t going to encounter any issues. Your dog will have what he or she needs, no matter if you shop for it in a physical store or order it online.

Keeping your calm is paramount for your canine buddy, too. As you very well know, dogs are capable of telling when something’s wrong with you mentally, and they suffer just like their guardians.

Don’t Fear Your Dog

Besides the case that was reported in Hong Kong, there doesn’t seem any other possibility that our pets could infect us. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be vectors of the disease. If you take your dog to the park and let someone pet him/her, the virus could get on your Fido’s fur.

Naturally, you can’t sanitize your dog as you would your floor or your door knobs. So avoiding human interaction would be a great idea, in this case. People love dogs, and some will almost always try to pet yours, but don’t be afraid of coming off as a jerk if you don’t allow anyone to touch your dog.

You’re protecting yourself against COVID-19, and you might even be protecting your pooch if he/she is unlucky enough to develop one form of the disease.

Keep an Eye on Your Dog’s Health

As stressed as you might be because of this pandemic, you should continue to be a responsible dog parent and pay attention to any changes in his or her routine. This is especially true if your dog has a condition for which you give him a treatment every day or if Fido is older.

In times like this, your dog can be a valuable companion for you, especially emotionally and particularly if you live alone and you have no means of getting in touch with your family other than by calling them. That’s why you should pay even more attention to how your dog eats, pees and poops, sleeps, walks, runs, or anything else.

Ordering Dog Food

If you isolate at home, you don’t have to worry about online marketplaces running out of pet food anytime soon.

Besides, as you might know by now, kibble can be used for up to six months once you have opened the package. If you have bought enough dog food, it’s quite likely that it will last you, provided that you aren’t the parent of a large or giant dog breed.

To make sure that you don’t contract the COVID-19 pathogen when receiving parcels at home, you can either use disinfectant for everything or leave the box in a corner of your home (to which your dog has no access) without touching it for three days. It is estimated that the virus survives on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on other types of surfaces (metal and plastic, especially) for up to three days.

If you have to use something from the parcel right away, make sure to use gloves, get the things you need out of the box, and put them in a sink or bathtub. Wash them with hot water (hotter than 40 degrees Celsius) and use any detergent as the foaming removes and destroys the pathogen.

Walking your Dog

If you live in a house and you have a yard, this is the safest way you can make sure that your dog ‘goes to the bathroom’ in the right place and also gets enough exercise. We have to admit that it is quite challenging to clean your dog if you go to the park. After all, the novel Coronavirus can survive on surfaces for up to 3 days, which means that it could also be on the sidewalk.

You can, at least, try to prevent your dog from rolling around so that you wipe his or her paws with alcohol (at least 70 degrees) when you get back home or wash them really well with hot water and soap.

Ideally, you should avoid leaving your dog to get in bed with you. That might be impossible, in some cases, but we thought we’d add it anyway.

Get Informed

There has been a wide range of fake news going around, according to which COVID-19 is just like the regular flu, it’s not as contagious, and a variety of other such misinformation. Make sure you always use your country’s Health Ministry website or whatever organism you have in place in your country.

You can also rely on trusted resources such as the official WHO site. It’s important to prevent anxiety at this time, no matter if it might seem like it’s impossible. Your canine friend relies on you and needs you, so stay at home and stay safe so that nothing happens to you and you’re still able to care for your pooch.

If you suspect that something might happen to you, talk to a friend and give them a key so that they can feed and check on your dog in case you end up in the hospital.



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