10 Things About Dogs and COVID-19
In just a short amount of time, COVID-19 has changed the world. We are learning to live our lives in a way that’s new for many of us. Social distancing and virtual meetings have become our new normal.
Even in a changing world, one thing remains constant. My dog is still my best friend. I don’t know about you, but my dog’s love and affection brighten up my days.
As we continue to find our way through this pandemic, pet parents ask: How does COVID-19 affect our dogs?
Here are ten questions and concerns that you may have about dogs and COVID-19 that we're facing in today's world:
1. Can Dogs Contract COVID-19?
Yes, dogs can get certain kinds of corona-viruses. But usually, dogs can catch a different variety than COVID-19. This is the type called canine respiratory coronavirus. Reports state that COVID-19 is not a health threat to dogs.
However, two dogs in Hong Kong contracted COVID-19. One of the dogs did pass away. But, the senior dog was 17 years old and had already recovered from the sickness. Veterinarians don’t believe the cause of death was the virus.
Studies have noted that even if a dog caught the illness, there were no symptoms to show that they contracted it. It was only when the researchers did testing that they knew the dogs had the disease.
2. Can I Pet My Dog?
The fur on your dog is low risk for COVID-19. You would be more likely to contract the virus from a counter-top or a door handle than from your dog.
Your dog still needs some lovin’ during this time. We’re NOT saying to pet your fur baby and then put your fingers in your mouth! Of course, you’ll still need to practice good hygiene by washing your hands after a cuddle with your pupster.
3. Should My Dog Wear A Face Mask?
I’ve seen some of the coolest face masks. But let’s resist the urge to put one on our dogs! A face mask on your dog will probably not protect them from anything. Putting a mask on your dog may just lead to breathing difficulties.
Do we need social distancing for dogs?
The CDC suggests that your dog should not interact with other pets or people that do not live in your home. But what’s better than binge-watching Netflix with your dog? Social distancing doesn’t seem so bad when you have your furry friend by your side.
4. Walking Dogs During COVID-19
We all need our essential physical and mental exercise. This goes for both you and your dog! So let’s get moving.
- Use a leash when walking your dog.
Avoid large groups of people. When walking your dog, stay at least 6 feet away from people and animals that may walk by you. This is a protective action for both you and your friend.
- Dog parks may not be the best place during this pandemic.
Set up a video call so your pup can hang out with friends and family… they miss seeing their humans too!
5. Dogs & Family Members with COVID-19
Have you or someone in your household tested positive for COVID-19? If so, you should limit contact with your pets. If possible, let someone else handle feeding, grooming, and daily care of your pet dog.
There is little data that says dogs can get the virus from humans. But, if you are positive for COVID-19, you can still protect your dog. Sorry, hugs will have to wait!
6. Healthy Diets & Feeding
Comfort food alert! Being at home more than usual causes us ALL to eat more…even our dogs. During this time, let’s be aware, and not overfeeding our furry friends. Yes, it’s hard when they beg you for one more treat.
If your pup is overweight, this could potentially lead to health problems down the road. Therefore, monitor the number of meals and snacks your dog eats daily. Try to keep them on their regular feeding schedule to protect their health.
7. Dog Food, Medication & Pet Care Supplies
At least you won’t have to worry about buying tissues for your dog. But make sure you have all the dog food and supplies you’ll need.
It’s a good idea to have enough meals, medication, and pet care items on hand to last you for at least two weeks.
8. Creative Indoor Fun
It may not be possible at times to go outdoors to play with your pup. No problem. You could always turn your home into a puppy Olympics...
A great training opportunity
You want to help your dog to grow mentally and physically. Think of games you can play with your pup:
- Hide treats for your pup to find.
- Roll a ball around the house for your pup.
- Play fetch. Just watch that [CRASH] window.
9. Should Dogs Be Tested For COVID-19?
COVID-19 testing for animals is currently not recommended. Is your dog experiencing any changes to their health?
Look out for:
Contact your veterinarian or local pet hospital immediately. They will help you to know the best course of action to take.
10. Dogs Have Feelings Too
Quarantine (and things just being different) can affect the way our pets feel, in the same way it affects us. Keeping a familiar routine gives them a sense of stability and normalcy. We can just add in a little more love!
There are a lot of unknowns. But when we stay positive, we help our dogs and also ourselves to get through!
Let us know if you have anything to add on dogs and COVID-19 in the comments below!
Additional Resource: Pouncing Pup