Corona. What a bummer! This unprecedented situation has been trying for everyone on some level or another, but pet parents might be having their own unique struggles during the situation. Those who are not knowledgeable may fear catching or spreading the virus through these four-legged friends. This is not the case, just in case you were worried.
While veterinary scientists across the globe have confirmed that pet dogs and cats are not going to infect human beings with Covid-19, that doesn’t eliminate the other issues that may arise during this global pandemic. If you’re a pet owner, you no doubt have major concerns about your pet contracting the disease or spreading it to you or someone in your family. Because of this legitimate concern, we’ve put together an advisory based on the latest scientific updates concerning Covid-19 and your pets. Read on.
The first good news we have to share is that according to extensive, worldwide studies, researchers have concluded that pets are safe from the virus. While some pets have indeed tested positive (a weak positive in most cases), doctors have confirmed that the virus does not affect pets, even if they’ve contracted it. So, an animal may have the coronavirus with no side effects or problems whatsoever. This is a major breakthrough that has let many pet parents heave a huge sigh of relief.
To answer the obvious question, there is no need to quarantine your pets, use medical masks, or take other types of standard precautions concerning your pets.
While your pets won't contract the virus and spread it to you and anyone in the house, there is a small chance that your pet can carry corona in its fur for a limited amount of time if it came in contact with someone who was infected. This can happen if they catch the respiratory droplets of the virus (i.e., if someone sneezes, coughs, or breathes onto them) in their fur. The virus does not appear to be dangerous to animals, fortunately. But there is a small chance that the respiratory droplets can be transferred onto the pet parent's hands, thus spreading the virus further.
For this reason, it is a good idea to keep house cats indoors until the pandemic has calmed down. If this is not possible or for those pets that need to go out (dogs that need to be walked for example), it is recommended to take the following precautions:
Social distancing requirements are there to protect you and your pets. If you must go out with your pet, make sure you maintain a safe distance of 6.5 feet whenever walking outside.
This is a good idea because it ensures that in the slight chance that any virus was brought home, your pet won’t transfer it to you.
Keep a good stock of pet food, supplies, and treats in the house. This way, you don’t need to worry about running out and exposing yourself or others to the potential of contracting the virus. If you find that you are running low on pet supplies, check out a trusted pet food delivery service like Chewy or PetFlow that will let you place your order online and deliver the food and supplies you need directly to your door with contactless delivery.
It goes without saying that in any event, if you are feeling sick or under the weather or are showing Covid-19 symptoms, call your doctor and ask what to do next. It's not recommended to go to the hospital for these symptoms. Rather, stay at home and call for help.
It’s also a good idea to designate an alternate caretaker in case you contract the virus or fall ill for some other reason. This way, your pet won’t be neglected because you are not up for taking care of them at the time.
Now that you’ve got yourself and your pets covered in terms of the outside world getting in, it’s time to make sure you’re both safe within your own four walls. Because spending time at home 24/7 can start to get tedious, we all need some extra time-fillers to keep us sane. Pets are no different. While they spend most of their time (if not all of it) at home all day every day, there is still a noticeable difference for them. For one thing, you’re not usually there! So, while they love having you around, this obvious disruption to your pet’s daily routine may be unconsciously throwing off their groove.
Whatever the reasons, pets are going to need some entertainment, and Xbox, Facebook, and an endless stream of memes aren't going to cut it. Luckily, pets are easy to entertain with a few simple toys. Here are a few ideas you can use to keep your peppy pups and cool cats amused during this slight schedule upheaval:
- Don’t throw away those empty Amazon boxes. No doubt you’ve been ordering up a storm online (there’s nothing else to do, why not go shopping?!). Instead of trashing the boxes, let your kitty have a field day in these deluxe jungle gyms for felines.
- Create a scavenger hunt for your pup by hiding dog treats all over the house for them to find.
- Play a spontaneous game of fetch. Both dogs and cats like this game, assuming you use the right kind of bait. Toss a rubber ball for your dog or string up a ball of fluff for your cat. You’ll have them active and having fun for a long time.
And of course, you can always go online and order a few new dog or cat toys to be delivered. Flying cat teasers, squeaky toys, chew bones, and anything with catnip inside are all favorites that'll keep your furry friend busy for hours.
But most of all now is a great time for you and your pet to bond. Spend time with your puddle of fluff, rub their tummy, scratch behind their ears, find their favorite spots, have a staring contest, or just take a nap together in a nice warm patch of sun on the couch. Covid-19 is going to pass, but those moments you've spent together with your furry friend will last a lifetime. Seize the opportunity and make the most of this special time together.
We’ve already mentioned that some people are apprehensive about pets, and we’ve also cleared their furry names according to science. But what’s even more interesting is that many doctors are recommending pet adoption during this turbulent time. This is for several reasons, including:
Pets contribute invaluable companionship to a lonely human looking for love. They ask for little and give endlessly in return. Talk about a great return on investment.
Whether it’s their daily play sessions or the walks that they need to go on, pets keep their owners active. And that’s especially important during this sedentary period.
Animals have been used for years in therapy work with resounding results. Pets can be good to help people cope with anxiety and depression. They’re also useful for therapy work during trauma or crisis - like a global virus.
Finally, pets are great for kids. They teach responsibility, cooperation, and consideration. And pets are lovable, cuddleable, and huggable - all things that kids love in excess.
Our pets hold a special place in our hearts, and keeping them safe is a top priority. Keep yourselves and your four-legged friends safe and happy during Covid-19, and get some quality time in while you’re at it.