Coronavirus – Tips for Dog Owners
14:00 - 13 March 2020
The WHO has declared the coronavirus outbreak pandemic, so we have to try our best to prevent its spreading. Here are some essential tips to stay safe, along with your beloved pets.
Currently, there is no evidence that pets can get COVID-19. We don’t have to be afraid of transmitting the virus to our dogs and back. Nevertheless taking some important steps if strongly advised to keep it that way.
Prevention above all
Personal hygiene – don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and clean, running water (warm or cold), then dry them thoroughly. Use antibacterial liquid hand soap when you’re away. Keep sanitizers at home to wipe the doorhandles more times a day. Not only inside the house/flat, but also the entrance and gate handles, as we touch them before entering our home and thus washing our hands.
Have liquid hand soap on you when you take your dog for a walk. Don’t forget to use it!
Stay away from the crowd and keep at least a one-meter distance from people. Avoid handshakes, hugs and kisses. Don’t touch your face.
This does not mean that we are only allowed to visit the dog park with nobody around. But it’s crucial to stick to the rules!
COVID-19 does not attack dogs, but they can easily become carriers of it (on their fur and coat), so it’s best not to let others carress and stroke your pooch in the upcoming weeks, months.
There’s no need to rush to the stores in an attempt to buy a ton of dog food. However, it’s a great idea to keep one more bag of kibbles or purchase some extra meat if you feed raw food. (Do the same if you have cats and don’t forget about their litter.) Have a sufficient amount of spare food for at least 2-3 weeks.
In case your pet is on medication, check to have enough at home, to avoid any last-minute rash to the pet pharmacy.
Sometimes vet visits can not be delayed. We might have to go to the vet during this sensible period and there are some things we can do to minimize the risks. Call your vet in advance to make an appointment, if this is not possible or there’s an urgent situation, try to keep distance from other owners (wait outside or in your car after registrating at the reception). Be kind and patient at all times!
Ready for the worst?
Check your dog’s microchip data at the vet. Be sure that your name and current contact is also registered in the system.
Ask your family members, friends or neighbours if they are willing to take care of your pet(s) if anything happens to you, like home quarantine or hospitalization. Leave a spare key at the a person you trust, so they will be able to enter your home should your pet stay there alone.
Have the name of the possible caretaker(s) written under your dogs microchip data. If the pet is on a special diet or medication, list these, too!
Write all the above information on a sheet of paper and leave it on a distinct point of your house/flat (eg. near the entrance or on the kitchen table). Should anything happen to you daytime, helpers can find it easily after entering your home.
Whether people in home quarantine can take over delivery or not, is up to their government's decision. Hopefully, it as allowed, so you can order pet food, cat litter, anything you ran out of, via Internet, so there’s no need to buy tons of these right now.
Out of options?
If you don’t have a family member, friend or neighbour to take your pet, turn to your local animal rescue organization. Ask if they have an emergency plan to care for your dog or cat, while you’re away.
Index image source: Justin Veenema - Unsplash
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