Our Dogs and the Coronavirus

Our dog’s point of view

From our dog’s point of view, since the coronavirus outbreak. Suddenly, their whole routine and world have changed. It is likely that:

More people are staying at home.
Their walking and going out routine has changed.
There’s an increased amount of stress at home.

As dog owners, there are also a lot of inaccurate messages floating around on social media. Both about the Covid-19 virus and dogs. Pet owners have many questions like: What to do if a household member is infected with COVID-19? or Can you walk your dog?

There has not been one case of human-to-animal virus transmission at the time of writing. It is, however, a good idea after touching your dog or their belongings to wash your hands with soap and water if your pet dog has been outdoors.

Protecting Each Other

There is no evidence that pets can get sick from COVID-19.
Just like human hands, pet fur could carry the virus from one person to another.
Wash hands well with soap after touching any dogs or their belongings, especially after returning from being outdoors. (Avoid dog kisses, Sorry)
If your dog is sick or injured, call your vet before going to the surgery, as the Royal Veterinary College has given guidance that only emergency surgery can currently be actioned.

Practise Social Distancing for COVID-19

Each person in the home can walk your dog once daily, but….
Keep you and your dog at least two meters from others (dogs, other animals and people)
Avoid contact with other people’s dogs (and other pets)
Ensure you have your dog’s everyday supplies for 14 days, making only essential trips to the pet shop.

If you are self Isolating (and planning, just in case)

Think about how you can provide for your dog’s needs.
Dogs can be let out into the back garden or just outside your house on lead to go to the toilet, but always keep your distance from others and minimise time outside*
Is there anyone else in there anyone else who could care for your dog if you are taken to the hospital?
*Advice on this point may be subject to change; please check the Government guidance regularly.

Helping Each Other

Can you safely help vulnerable people in your community with their dogs?
Can you offer remote help for a local animal charity?
Can you donate dog food to your local food bank?

The Coronavirus and Your Dogs Needs

All our dogs are individuals. Just like us, how all the changes affect them will be different. If we need to drop the amount of outdoor (away from home) exercise and experiences. Then, we also need to ensure we give proactive alternatives. But what could these be?

Dogs love to seek and find. Feeding your dog dry food? Why not scatter it into the enclosed garden (if sunny!)? Then, send them out to find all the yummy morsels.
Have a kong at home? Feed your dog some of their daily food wetted out.
Got some old boxes and paper? Make up some snuffle boxes. Add some of their food/treats between paper and card layers inside the box.
Have regular training sessions. Short sessions throughout the day.
Play some nose or scent work games. Teach your dog to find specific items by using its nose.

As well as giving them a suitable amount of mental enrichment. Using ideas like those above. Also, ensure you provide them with plenty of opportunities to relax and be calm in a quiet area of the home. I will write more soon, so why not sign up for our newsletter and ensure you don’t miss out on the latest posts?

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