COVID-19: Is my pet safe?

A Pet Parent’s Guide to Managing COVID-19 and Social Isolation.

Unless you’re living under a rock on Mars, you probably know about Coronavirus. Also known as COVID-19, Coronavirus is sweeping the nation and bringing with it a lot of media coverage, speculation, rumors and fear.

We are all scrambling for information regarding the health and safety of not only our family members, but our fur kids too. Can our four-legged friends contract this dreaded disease? Can they be carriers or hosts? Can they transmit COVID-19 to us?

While the atmosphere is scary and uncertain, we still believe this is by no means a time to panic and is, by all means, a time to stay informed and prepared with facts. Real facts.

My Dog Spot has done some research for you and we are going to do some myth busting in the hopes of keeping the pet parents in our community informed, safe, and healthy.

 

Can Dogs Or Cats Get COVID-19?

Coronavirus is a broad term used to describe a very common group of viruses that have been around for quite a while now. COVID-19 is a novel form of Coronavirus and is named for the year it was discovered – 2019.

So far, COVID-19 has been shown to primarily affect humans. That said, dogs can and always have been able to contract a form of Coronavirus, but that version of Coronavirus is not transmittable to humans and is often mild and usually affects puppies who are born and raised in unsanitary conditions. So, while dogs have always been susceptible to contracting a form of Coronavirus, there is no substantial evidence yet to support the idea that pets can contract COVID-19, host COVID-19, or transmit COVID-19 to humans.

But wait.

Didn’t a dog in Hong Kong test positive (although very low) for COVID-19?

Yes. This did happen. However, further tests are ongoing to try and confirm whether this dog truly had contracted COVID-19 or if he was simply carrying the germs of his infected human on his body. Furthermore, even if the dog truly was infected with the disease (the dog tested negative for COVID-19 later in the week after some time in quarantine) there is still no evidence showing dogs can transmit the virus to humans. In fact, health organizations feel strongly that dogs and cats are not good hosts for the COVID-19 virus at all and are therefore unlikely to be able to transmit COVID-19 to humans even if it turns out they are able to catch it.

Still, Practicing Extra Good Hygiene Around Your Pet Matters.

Let’s recap.

We’re still not 100% positive if pets can contract COVID-19, although it seems highly unlikely that they can and rare that they will. What’s more, it’s highly unlikely that you will contract COVID-19 from your pet even if they can catch it. However, remember that some of the main symptoms of COVID-19 are coughing and sneezing in humans. Coughing and sneezing both produce infected mucus materials which can survive on surfaces. These surfaces include doorknobs, countertops, and yes, even your pet’s fur. This is why practicing extra good hygiene around your pet matters. If you’re feeling sick, treat your pet the same way you would treat your human family members or friends and try to stay away.

Tips On Handling Your Pet If You Are Feeling Under The Weather

  • Don’t hug, kiss, or cuddle your pet. Wash your hands before and after handling your pet.

  • Have a trusted (and healthy) friend or family member care for your pet while you are sick

  • Routinely wash leashes, bedding and toys

  • Wipe down areas you and your pet frequently use with a high-quality disinfectant

  • Stay educated and focus on facts, not rumors

  • No matter what, don’t panic and turn to isolating your pet from the world. Your pet is much more likely at this point to become sick from stress due to this unique set of circumstances involving isolation, lack of exercise and boredom.

  • For your sanity and your pet’s overall health and wellbeing, try to keep things around your house as normal as possible for everyone.

  • Keep routine walks and let your pet outside for fresh air and playtime.

  • Do you have a dog walker? Don’t cancel your appointments. Instead, communicate to your walkers any concerns you have and find out what their protocol is to help ensure your house and pets are safe and protected.

  • If you are sick or find yourself quarantined with your pet, don’t worry. There are ways for you to keep your pet happy and stimulated inside your home.

Keeping Your Pet Occupied And Happy During Isolation

Isolation not only affects you, but it also affects your pet. A dramatic change in routine can lead to serious anxiety in dogs and cats and a lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to boredom, depression and even destructive behaviors.

Pay attention to what your pet is telling you by watching his body language and try to pick up on the subtle cues that alert you to when your dog or cat isn’t getting enough stimulation.

If You Are Isolated Or Don’t Want To Go Out In Public, You Can Always:

  • Create fun and safe games to play with your dog indoors

  • Play a game of fetch in the backyard Play tug-of-war or chase

  • Blow bubbles for your dog to catch

  • Hide treats in the backyard for your dog to find

  • Set up a ball pit and scatter treats inside

  • Create a dog-safe agility course in your backyard

  • Go on walks during times your neighborhood is least active, like at night or very early in the morning.

Of course, if you feel your pet has become sick, overly-anxious or even depressed during this time and needs to be seen by a professional, don’t hesitate to contact your local veterinarian.

And for more tips and tricks on how you can keep your pet safe and healthy while also keeping his routine as normal as possible, visit us at www.MyDogSpott.com.

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COVID-19

IS IT SAFE TO STILL HAVE MY DOG WALKED?

 

Yes, it is still safe and we would recommend trying to keep your dog on its regular schedule as much as possible. This will reduce any anxiety and stress that your dog may begin to feel during this period of isolation.

Safety and cleanliness have always been a top priority at My Dog Spot.

 

It is our ongoing policy to wash hands and use sanitizer between each visit. In addition to these ordinary precautions our walkers will now wear a new pair of sanitary gloves for each appointment.  

 

At pick up and drop off, we will use our own leashes to walk or transport your pups so that your leashes are not handled by anyone other than you and when returning your dog, we will make sure that your dog has been wiped down from head to tail including all four paws.

For more information on your pet and COVID-19 read our current blog: A Pet Parent's Guide to Managing COVID-19 and Social Isolation

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