Having a dog in your home can help bring joy during this pandemic. There is still no evidence that domestic pets such as dogs and cats can transmit coronavirus. However, viruses are known to jump from one host to another. The coronavirus is said to have come from a bat, and there are possibilities it can jump to another host. As a dog owner, there are some things that you can do to keep your dog safe and happy during this pandemic.
Caring for your dog during the coronavirus pandemic
1. Dog food
Your dog needs to eat, and you should feed it as normal. Nobody knows the exact day when this pandemic will be over. As a dog owner, you should prepare for the worse by buying enough dog food. We all know most of the human foods are poisonous to dogs. Having enough dog food will help avoid the temptation to feed your canine friend with human staple foods that may put it at risk of poisoning. But there are still some human foods that are safe and beneficial to dogs. Ruff Hero has a guide on what foods are safe for your dog and which ones are not safe and some tips on what you can do in case of poisoning.
2. Visiting the vet
Governments are advising people to stay in their homes unless absolutely necessary. You should only take your dog to the veterinarian when it needs urgent veterinary care. You should call your veterinarian for advice first before taking your dog to the pet clinic.
If you are in quarantine and your dog needs urgent veterinary care, you should phone your veterinarian for advice. You should not visit the veterinarian office if you are showing signs of coronavirus or you are under quarantine, to avoid infecting other people. You can ask your friend to help you take the dog to the veterinarian’s office, but don’t get out of your home if you are in quarantine.
If your dog is on repeat medication, make sure to call the veterinarian for advice. You can have a person who is healthy pick the prescriptions for you.
Whether you are in quarantine or not, your canine friend needs regular grooming. If you have been hiring a groomer, during this pandemic, it is not wise to have people visiting your home. The best thing that you can do if you don’t know how to groom your pets, you should call your pet groomer for advice. Remember not to use harsh shampoos and cleaning detergents that can irritate your dog’s skin.
You should avoid people coming to your home apart from the postman when delivering a package. If your dog likes greeting visitors at your door, this is the time to say NO for this behavior. You should consider securing it in another room before opening the door.
5. Carry on training
Now that you are spending most of your time indoors, it is the best time to carry on with your dog training at home. Some Kennel Club trainers are now running online sessions sharing tips and tricks that you can use to continue training and developing a bond with your dog.
6. Wash your hands
There is no evidence that dogs can be affected by the coronavirus, but it is good to practice measures that will help keep your dog safe. Washing your hands is the best that you can do to avoid transmitting the virus to your dog if you are showing symptoms of infection. You should wash your hands before and after feeding them, touching them, and touching their toys and beddings. It is also wise that you try to avoid having your dog kiss or lick your face and also sharing your food with them. The dog might carry the virus and pass it to you.
7. Walking your dog
If you are not in quarantine and not showing any symptoms of COVID-19, you can still take your dog for a walk. However, you should reduce taking your dog out of your home to once in a day. When walking your dog outside your home, you should avoid busy areas to ensure social distancing. If you are vulnerable or elderly or self-isolating, you should ask your relative or friend to take your dog out for you.
8. Keep your dog entertained and stimulated
Bored dogs will start showing behavior issues. You need to stimulate your dog, both mentally and physically. One of the best things that you can do to keep your dog entertained is to play with it. A tug of war or the indoor fetching game will keep your dog entertained and help you bond with it. You can also provide your dog with dental chews and toys to stop them from chewing other things in your house and keep them stimulated.
Your dog still deserves your attention and affection even at these hard times. It does not know what is happening outside, and it is upon you to keep it entertained and safe in your home. There is no evidence that dogs can be affected by the coronavirus, and therefore there is no reason for you to stop being there for your canine friend. Playing with your dog will also make you happy and relieve stress.