Coronavirus COVID-19 and Your DogKimberly Mattar
It is sad to continue to see the pain and struggle during these times of uncertainty. The coronavirus has knocked us off our track. We are flooded with information as it sweeps the nation and media stations across the world. It is important that we mention a few things to our readers in case you haven’t looked into it or are wondering how COVID-19 could effect your dog.
Can My Dog Get Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) according to the CDC does not appear to be contagious to dogs (or other pets) and thankfully we have not seen any cases. As of March 30th, 2020, there is no scientific proof or studies that prove this. This means that we should keep common sense in the forefront and do what we can to reduce contact with our dogs if possible. Without scientific evidence, we cannot be too careful.
What to Do If you Have Coronavirus
If you have contracted the virus, or have been around people who now know they have the virus, it would be wise to take caution. Maintaining the usual CDC recommendations like washing your hands regularly and social distancing is important. We should be practicing this whether we own a dog or not. But you should also try to refrain from any activities that create close contact or saliva exchange. Things like wrestling, licking faces, kisses, and sharing food should be avoided if possible.
Although you may be scared to go into your Veterinarian’s office, the health of your dog is important. Call your Vet and see if they can provide care over the phone or provide instructions on how to bring your dog in for examination. The following list provides some ideas that we have come up with to keep your distance and care for your dog. Please note that these are our own suggestions, in no way is this medical advice and you should always contact your Veterinarian before trying any of these suggestions.
- Use a scoop/fork to prepare and serve their food to reduce hand contact.
- Pour treats out from the bag, rather than reaching into the bag.
- Change water regularly.
- Use pet safe disinfecting wipes and cleaners on surfaces they are exposed to.
- Consider using a harness instead of a collar so you can attach their leash from their back instead of near their face.
- Make sure they continue to exercise within your quarantined space.
- Dog owners have reported excessive tail wagging causing a sprained tail due to the owners being home all day – be sure to monitor this.
- Be sure to monitor your dog’s behavior. With humans being home all day, their environment has changed, this may cause their behavior to change.
- Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior when you are able to start going back to work/leave the house. Separation anxiety could occur due to the extended period you have been together.
- While you are home with your dog in this new routine, try to stick to their old bathroom habits and feeding times. This will help ease the change when you return to work.
Whenever times are tough, our dogs are always there to take care of us mentally and spiritually. They provide us with unconditional love. During times like this, where life as we know it is uncertain, let’s do all we can to care for dogs who provide great certainty in our lives.