Times Are Ruff, So You Gotta Give Your Dog Some Extra TLC!
The pandemic has forced all of us to stay at home as much as possible. While we all had a tough time adjusting to this new setup, working or studying at home might not be so bad after all—especially from the perspective of our fur babies! This means more time for hugs and cuddles, as they can just curl up under our desks or on our laps when they want to.
Our canine friends love to snuggle and play with us. However, no matter how clingy they can be, it’s still important to practice the right protocols if we want to keep them safe and healthy.
Risk of People Spreading SARS-CoV-2 to Animals
According to recent reports, it appears that the SARS-CoV-2 can spread from people to animals in some situations, especially during close contact. Some of the cases involve companion animals, like dogs and cats. There have also been reports of big cats in zoos or sanctuaries, gorillas in zoos, mink on farms, and a few other mammals testing positive for the virus. The common ground of all the cases? Most of these animals became infected after contact with people with COVID-19.
More studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19. As we continue to learn more about the virus, leaning toward the side of caution will always be the best course of action.
How to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Safe During the Pandemic
Our fur babies need additional doses of TLC too, especially in this rather stressful situation. Read on to find out how you can help your dog stay happy and healthy during the pandemic.
Just make sure you stay away from crowded public areas and keep yourself and your dog at least two meters away from others. If someone else is responsible for walking your dogs, make sure they are taking all precautions as well.
Dogs can easily get distracted, so it’s important to keep your dog on a secure leash when going out. It’s also highly recommended to get them microchipped and have them wear a dog tag engraved with your contact details at all times. Quick and easy identification is critical should they get lost.
Keeping your dog clean is key to staying healthy. It’s important to give your pooch a bath regularly, especially when coming back from a walk in the woods or when around other dogs and people—like at the dog park. Remember to wash your hands as well before and after interacting with all pets at this time.
Do you often find your dog sitting on your office chair or jumping on your lap just when you’re having an important Zoom meeting? If you’re working from home, you get it—and you may or may not have figured out a way to let them know when it’s NOT playtime. The good thing is there are plenty of options for keeping your needy four-legged friend busy and out of your work space.
You can try scattering his favorite (brand new or rotated) dog toys and other chewy treats around the house or yard. Not only will this provide your pup hours of enjoyment, this will also allow him to exercise his mind and body and expend some pent-up energy and reduce stress!
If you want your pup to spend the day with his canine comrades, you can take him to a nearby doggie day care center. This will give your fur baby a chance to enjoy bonding time with other dogs and play to his heart’s content. You can also focus on your work since you know that a caring professional is looking after your pup.
With the entire family staying (and eating) at home, chances are your pooch will also be getting more treats and eating more scraps. But as much as we want to spoil our dogs, we also have to make sure our dogs’ daily food intake has enough nutrients to keep her healthy and strong.
Try to keep your pooch on the same diet regimen as much as possible, as sudden changes can affect not only your dog’s digestive system but also her emotional well-being. The changes brought about by the pandemic are already stressful enough, abrupt changes in your pup’s diet might make matters worse.
Clinic hours and medical services provided in each vet clinic can vary. These can also change without prior notice, in adherence to COVID-19 protocols. This is why it’s important to always have an ample stock of pet medication in case your pet gets hurt or sick. First aid kit essentials include:
During an emergency, proper first aid will help ease your dog’s pain or prevent further injury as you wait for the vet to attend to your pup. If administering medication at home, keep in mind it’s critical to speak with a veterinarian first to know the right dosage for your pup.
In the event of toxin exposure, you can also contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA-APCC). Rapid action and expert advice are of the utmost importance if this does happen. Don’t panic, but don’t delay either.
Our pets have noticed we’re spending much more time at home. And because they’re smart and savvy, they know that this isn’t just a simple staycation. Something’s up. As pet parents, we have to keep in mind how we handle stress can affect our pets’ emotional health, so it’s important to remain calm as often as possible.
We can best help our pets by taking good care of our own mental and physical health. By doing so, we can remain attentive and patient with them. The love and care we give our four-legged friends will be their source of reassurance that even though a lot has changed because of the pandemic, everything will soon be okay.
About the Writer
Dani Smith is a content creator for dogIDs. Aside from writing, you’ll find her mountain biking with her dog Crash, binge-watching her favorite series, or food prepping her next high-carb meal.