Dogs of the Pandemic The novel coronavirus pandemic โ€“ manโ€™s best friend during these trying times

BY | January 20 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Dogs of the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for both man and man's best friend. You may relate to this. Here's what you need to know to successfully care for your dogs during the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for both man and man's best friend. You may relate to this. Lifestyle changes are inevitable and your dog may be having a hard time. You may be reassured in knowing that you're not alone. Most pet parents worry about two things- the spread of the COVID-19 and maintaining the normal standard of pet care. Here's what you need to know to successfully care for your dogs during the pandemic.

About the Coronavirus

This novel coronavirus has ravaged the world over. Many pet owners and their four-legged friends are having a hard time adjusting to life as we know it now. In different parts of the globe, economic and other activities have been ground to a halt with lockdowns imposed. People have been compelled to find newer ways of doing older things.

What This Can Mean for Pets

- Fewer walks/ shorter distances/ no walks at all This is common in places that are experiencing a total lockdown.
- Fewer trips to the dog parks/ no trips to the dog parks.

For obvious reasons, many pet owners are avoiding the large crowds at parks to stay safe.
- Fewer preventative trips to the vet
- Reduced playtime with other dogs in the neighborhood

As expected, most pet parents understand this as another safety precaution.
- Issues with pet grooming and supplies.
- More time indoors has significant effects on humans and also on pets. This can lead to slight or drastic changes in behavior that you may leave you confused at first.
- More pets will be put up for adoption or fostering.

The effect of the pandemic has been two-pronged: some good and some bad. Some people are adopting pets to help them cope with the situation. We have also seen an increase in the number of abandoned pets as more pet owners have been forced by the financial crisis to give up their furry friends. In humans, the pandemic has had negative effects on mental health. High levels of anxiety and depression have been reported. Pets lend incredible emotional and physical support. Trust your pets to cheer you up.

According to the Director of Tiny Paws Rescue, Ruchika Mustafa, there has been an upsurge in the request to foster and adopt pets since the beginning of the pandemic. [1] This may mean that more of our four-legged friends are likely to find homes. What better way to bond than spending more time indoors playing more than fetch? Explore new ways of relating to your furry friend. You have ample time for pet training and to correct behavioral issues. You also have time and a chance to get a hang of home grooming.  

Health Concerns

Has this disease been reported in pets? Can they be a source of infection? What we know about the Coronavirus and your pets: It seems that the spread from people to animals may be possible. According to the CDC, when walking your pets use a leash at least six feet (two meters) away from other people. Also, the CDC educates that masks can be dangerous for your pets. [2] Lifestyle Changes/How to Adapt/Changes to Consider

What can you do from the comfort of your home? There is a definite option for at-home solutions to the needs of your pet. This is a great time to get innovative and gradually adapt.

Supplies

Stock up on dog supplies and spare accessories- dog food, snacks, spare accessories, flea medicines, common over-the-counter medicines. Want to get supplies? Shopping online is a safer and more convenient option given the current situation. Of course, the rules regarding social distance are different but dog owners are encouraged to stay at home and reduce the number of trips they make for supplies. You can shop online and get all your doggie needs delivered to your doorstep.

Exercise

Dr. Deb Zoran, Professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, says that pet parents can still take their dogs on walks or to the dog park provided they maintain proper social distance and wear masks. [3]

Also, ensure you do the following:

- Avoid heavy crowds
-  Consider shorter and less frequent walks
-  Utilize all the space you can find; your home backyard may work great for this

Sick Pets

Virtual consultation with a vet doctor can be possible if they already know your dog. Visit the vet when possible or make use of online consultations/ video conferencing. Communicate as soon as you can. Report any unusual illness as quickly as it emerges. Impressively, vet practices are going the extra mile to offer services in the pandemic. [4] If your pet requires in-hospital care, you should expect pickups and drop-offs by the veterinary team. Of course, the treatment plans be properly communicated to you. You will be in the know of all that will go on.

Hygiene/ Grooming

Consider getting dog grooming services. You may access grooming services that can pick your pet up and eventually return them well-trimmed and neat. Ensure that the appropriate safety precautions are taken in doing this, from both yourself and the groomer. Hygiene is important. As always, clean your dog. Personal grooming is key. If they come in contact with mud, feces, or wild animals from outside, make sure that your pets are cleaned before entering the house. Do not use harsh chemicals or hand sanitizer on your dogs. Use regular hygiene products to prevent irritation and redness.

Meals

With a little more sedentary lifestyle, keep an eye on their weight. Being indoors all day can alter your dog’s appetite. This is no excuse for binge feeding.

Sick people

As this is a novel virus and not yet fully understood, it is only reasonable to stay away from other people and your pets if you feel unwell. Do this as soon as symptoms begin. That will definitely not be the best period to give or receive dog kisses.

Conclusion

We are all in this together. We need our pets as much as they need us to get through all of this. Caring for dogs of the pandemic requires extra effort. However, all hands and paws must be on deck to fight this virus.

Sources: [1] http://www.progressivegrocer.com/pet-care-pandemic
[2] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/pets.html
[3] www.vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/pandemic-pet-care-precautions
[4] http://www.news.osu.edu/caring-for-pets-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

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