An Inside Look at COVID-19 and Your Pets Health

How to Ensure The Health of Your Pets In These Risky Times of COVID-19′

Since forever pets have proven beneficial for the mental health of human beings. Several studies have emerged regarding how pets contribute towards the better health of patients suffering from mental ailments.

Pets also play a major role in reducing anxiety, stress, depression, and help manage loneliness. Most health experts believe that having a pet close during the COVID-19 pandemic time can be beneficial for both our physical and mental health. So, make sure that you spend time with your four-legged furry friend. 

However, amidst all the chaos and while seeking comfort in your pets don’t forget to take care of the health of your fur child. Here’s how you can take care of your pet during the corona pandemic.

Man and dog bonding during COVID-19

Practice Good Hygiene

At the onset of the virus, there were rumors regarding contracting the corona-virus from dogs and other animals. As you know, fake information circulates rapidly on social media platforms. As a result, people started forming false perceptions. However, it’s vital to understand that there is no concrete proof regarding the contraction of the virus from domestic animals. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, if an animal is infected with the corona virus, the risk of contracting the virus is very low. Although, patients affected with corona can spread the virus to animals. That's why it's crucial to maintain animal hygiene along with your personal hygiene.

For the same, you have to first understand that if you and your pet are healthy, do not isolate yourself from your pet. Instead, you should sanitize your pet's living area, clean the eating bowl or tray, and groom your pet often.

Washing hands for good hygiene

In addition to this, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after contact with your pet. Sanitize their toys and bedding area. Check your pet's food every time and fill their bowl with clean drinking water.

Reduce Interaction With Neighbors and Friends

The best way to avoid contracting the virus is through social distancing. Since the outbreak of the virus, the only words that we have come across as cautionary advice against the novel corona virus include quarantine, social distancing, washing hands thoroughly, and avoiding exposure. ​

In the case of your pet, the best possible way to avoid exposure is not to allow or even better completely forbid the interaction of your pet with neighbors and friends. You see, the novel COVID-19 can spread through the transfer of droplets. Particularly when the person sneezes or coughs. 

So, if your pet is interacting with everyone, it is likely that the animal could contract the virus from the tiny droplets shed on their collar, or fur, and even bodies. Not only this but the same virus can transfer to you and your family.

Research indicates that the virus can survive on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days and 24 hours on cardboard material. This means you can easily contract the virus from doorknobs, lift buttons, countertops, etc.

However, non-porous materials are not adept at transmitting the virus and that includes pet fur. The reason why it’s unlikely the virus would spread from your pet. For now and to keep your pet healthy minimize contact with anyone outside of your home.

Dog owner and dog talking to vet on a video call

Talk to a Vet if Your Pet Gets Sick

Just like several businesses have been deemed essential, veterinary hospitals fall into the same category. In other words, vets will continue seeing your pets as long as the medical staff is virus free and your pet needs immediate medical attention.

So, if your pet is sick, first talk to the concerned veterinarians, ESA doctors, or your regular animal doctor over the phone and make an appointment before the visit. Also, be wary of social distancing and adjust to the new changes your veterinary might ask you to follow.

For instance, most vet clinics are asking patients to not gather in the reception. Instead, they request the concerned pet owner to wait in the car. Meanwhile, a member of the medical staff will arrive at your parking spot and take your pet to the clinic.

This also means that you will not be able to accompany your pet into the clinic. But you also have to take note that this measure will protect the medical staff and you from contracting the virus.

Take Your Dog Out for Tiny Strolls

If you have a dog at home, you know the importance of walks for your furry little friend. However, these are crucial times, and staying at home is the safest precautionary measure. Your dog might feel a little out of place after missing out on regular walks.

However, you can still manage to walk your dog by adjusting to the current situation. And by adjustment, I mean that if you are not quarantined and you're completely healthy, take your dog in the backyard or close to your house throughout the day. This will help you and your dog stay stimulated, energized, and positive.

Woman talking her dog for a walk

Also, if you live with your family, you can take turns walking your dog, keeping in mind the social distancing protocol. That is staying 6 feet apart from people and washing hands every time you come back from the walk.

When walking your dog you should be careful of the areas you are walking your dog into. For example, you need to avoid parks, public areas, and other busy areas. In case you are under quarantine or self-isolating ask someone you trust to walk your dog. Do not ask a vulnerable or elderly person, instead ask an adult or a healthy individual to walk your dog for you. 

Final Thoughts On COVID-19 and Pet Health 

There is no substantial evidence regarding coronavirus contraction from animals. So, do not abandon your pet or isolate yourself from your pet. As much as you need your pet, your pet too requires your presence and care during this pandemic.

So, be practical and chalk out ways to help your pet stay healthy. You can follow the above-mentioned guidelines to keep your pet healthy and safe. Also, feed your pet with healthy food and refrain from changing their feeding schedule.

Teach your dogs new tricks for the betterment of their mental health. All in all, shower them with love, affection, care, and attention because pets are a part of your family. And, always remember that you and your pet are in this together. 

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