How To Care For Your Dog During A Pandemic

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With social distancing and quarantine regulations in place, our wonderful dogs are likely confused (and excited) to see their favorite humans at home with them. Of course, as a puppy owner, you are also equally as thrilled to be able to spend time with your wonderful furry companions, even if it’s only temporary. You may […]

With social distancing and quarantine regulations in place, our wonderful dogs are likely confused (and excited) to see their favorite humans at home with them. Of course, as a puppy owner, you are also equally as thrilled to be able to spend time with your wonderful furry companions, even if it’s only temporary. You may start to lax on some of the regular things you used to do with your pet during a regular weekday like grooming and exercising. 

If this sounds like you, we recommend rethinking your at-home routine with your furry friend. Even if your dog is used to staying indoors all the time, you must be able to keep up their health in top shape at all times. You may not know it but your dog’s routine has likely been interrupted. Why? Family members are staying home all day, and while it’s exciting, it can also be pretty stressful to your fur-baby.

Apart from this, most dogs depend on their human owners to meet their needs. That’s why dog owners must create and implement ways to care for their furry family members, even if you’re at home all day. Here are a few ways you can properly care for your dog during these challenging times: 

1. Practice social distancing.

First and foremost, practice social distancing with your dog. According to the CDC, there’s no evidence that animals play a role in spreading the current COVID-19 strain as transmission primarily occurs between people. However, it is widely reported that a small number of cats and dogs have become infected after coming in close contact with people who have the virus. Pet owners should be prepared to avoid any possible transmissions to themselves and their furry friends. This means you may need to change the way you usually conduct certain activities with your dog.

When walking your dog, for example, make sure to avoid crowded areas. Keep a distance of 2 meters or more between another person. Also, avoid locations that are known to be frequented by groups of people. You should discourage your dog from sniffing, licking, or eating anything they find on the ground or grass. Your fur-baby may not pick up the coronavirus, but they can pick up other types of viruses and bacteria with them. They may become sick from swallowing foreign objects or toxins found on the floor. Avoiding transmission protects the both of you from potential illnesses. 

2. Develop a daily routine with your pet.

Many dogs (and pets in general) love routines. Once they pick up your daily schedule, they don’t typically expect it to change. The current social distancing and quarantine regulations have disrupted the routines of many dog owners. While it may take some time to get used to the new normal, it’s highly important that you continue to develop rituals and routines that work for you and your pet. That way your fur-baby has an idea of your new structure at home, which can calm down their stress.

You can start by waking up at a certain time to feed your dog or let them use the potty. Also, you may change feeding times throughout the day to ensure your furry bestie isn’t being overfed. And of course, you must implement a time for exercise and fun activities you can do with your pet while at home.

3. Choose indoor games and activities.

There are so many incredibly fun games and activities you can play with your dog. A short-distance fetch with your pup’s favorite toy, a scavenger hunt around the house, and even hide-and-seek—the choices you have are endless! Make sure your puppy must know the rules of each game or else it defeats the fun. You should also place any dangerous or priceless objects around the house in a safe area before playing a game. 

If you must venture outside, walk on concrete to see if the area is clean or dirty. Avoid grassy areas, which can contain various bacteria and viruses, unless it’s exposed to sunlight and rain. These patches of grass may be cleaner than ones that are sheltered.

4. Keep up your puppy’s hygiene.

Grooming should never be neglected. Your dog’s hygiene is always important, regardless if they go outside or not. Be sure to clean, brush, and cut your dog’s fur on a weekly basis or when needed. If your dog needs a bath, don’t hesitate to give them one. This is especially important after every walk outside. Your dog may have debris, bacteria, and other foreign bodies attached to their hair that can drop off as soon as they walk through your house.

Also, keep their dental hygiene in check. Avoid letting your dog lick your face or share food with them. Wash your hands after you’ve touched them, following the correct hand-washing guidelines. Also, keep your home clean regularly with disinfectant wipes, sprays, and other cleaning products.

5. Make sure you have pet supplies.

While you stock up on supplies and other essentials for you and your family, don’t forget about your four-legged friend! Pet owners should always have enough pet care supplies in store, including food, nutritional supplements, their pet’s medications, towels and blankets, and other essential items. These items must be able to last pets at least a month or longer.

In a worst-case scenario, food and other supplies may not be readily available for your pet, which can prevent you from providing them with sufficient care. Being prepared with your pet’s supplies prevents these accidental shortages and ensures that you’re always there for your pet. 

6. Plan out for medical emergencies.

If you have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) or are experiencing symptoms, avoid contact with your dog as much as possible. Do not kiss or snuggle your dog, and wear a face mask around them. Let your vet know of the circumstances, and follow their instructions. You may need to find someone you trust to take care of your pet while you recover. Otherwise, you will need to provide care for them yourself.

If your dog becomes sick or has an emergency situation, you must call your veterinarian to inform them of what’s going on. You may feel bad over the fact that you can’t give your dog some love but once the quarantine has passed, you’ll be able to snuggle with your furry bestie as much as you want!

7. Stay calm.

Our dogs can sense when we’re happy, sad, or anxious over something. Therefore, while you remain indoors, find ways to calm yourself down and avoid stressing out your dog. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, and cuddle sessions with your fur-baby can help you keep a serene mindset and bond with your dog. We also recommend giving your dog your full attention for at least 20 minutes a day to soothe them. 

Your dog knows that you love them very much. And you may already know this, but they love you too. They want to spend time with you, and the current times have allowed you both to spend more time in each other’s presence. While you may be dealing with personal issues, don’t forget to take the time to ensure their happiness and health as the wider community recovers from the ongoing crisis. We hope you and your furry friend stay safe and healthy!

Check out our blog, How to Find Your Lost Dog to learn more about ensuring your dog’s safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.