The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked chaos globally. Between numerous lockdowns, re-openings, learning how to work remotely, it’s been a trying time for so many people. This includes families with pet responsibilities as well.
Taking care of pets is a huge responsibility at the best of times. COVID-19 has added extra worry. Can our pets get sick? Can they transmit COVID-19 to us? How do we look after our dog if we are self-isolating? These are just some of the questions that are plaguing animal lovers. Below are some of the most common questions and how we can safely navigate pet parenting during the pandemic.
Can pets transmit COVID-19 to humans?
Research suggests that there is little to no evidence to support this claim. Not only that, as of May 26, 2020, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there is also little to no evidence that suggests that our pets contract the virus easily. During the first five months of the outbreak, fewer than ten pets tested positive for Covid-19.
It is advised that you follow the same sensible guidelines you normally would when dealing with our pets. Wash your hands before and after you pet them, minimize their social interactions outside the home where possible, and avoid sharing food and being kissed or licked by them.
How do I care for my pet if I fall ill with COVID-19?
The basic advice here is to avoid your pet and take care of them just as you would other people. This includes petting, snuggling, sharing food with them, and being kissed or licked by them. This isn’t due to animals contracting the virus or spreading it to humans, but to cover the fact that there is still a lot we don’t know about the virus itself.
If you must take care of your pets while ill, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask.
Can you walk your dog during a lockdown?
The short answer is yes; you can, although you need to minimize how often you take your dog out and avoid crowded areas. You are allowed out once a day for exercise, so it makes sense to make that time when you would normally take your dog out for a long walk. If you need to take your dog out for the toilet more often, then this is acceptable, but you should limit it where possible.
While out, you should remain six feet apart from other people. If you are in an area with other dog walkers, it is advised that you put your dog on a lead to help keep to social distancing.
If your dog happened to gain weight during the pandemic, in addition to walking, here are five tips to help your dog lose weight.
Will my pets get their annual vaccinations during the pandemic?
Routine vaccinations are unlikely to be offered at this time due to the pandemic. However, special circumstances and vulnerable pets will be at the veterinary practice’s judgments and discussed on a case-by-case basis.
If your pet’s vaccinations are overdue, it is best to call the vet and discuss their needs and be prepared to wait to get their boosters done, as vets are extremely busy at this time.
It is advised if you have a kitten who is unvaccinated to keep them indoors. If you have an unvaccinated puppy (who hasn’t received its full course of vaccinations), then you should avoid other areas where dogs could have been until they can finish receiving their boosters.
Is it safe to pet someone else’s dog?
This is a complicated question to answer. While there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be spread via touching someone’s dog, there are still many things we do not know about the virus itself. Also, remaining socially distanced outside is part of the reduction of spreading Covid-19. Therefore, it is recommended to keep your distance from other people’s dogs, including petting them.
What can I do to ease my pet’s transition post-COVID-19?
It won’t be long now until people start returning to their normal working routine. There are some things you can do to help ease the transition for our pets. Begin by slowly adjusting their feeding schedules back to pre-work at home schedule. If you have a dog, gradually decrease the time you spend playing with him throughout the day to get them used to entertain themselves.
The pandemic has changed many things. The above question and answers will help keep you and your pets safe from COVID-19.
Elizabeth Hines is a digital marketer and content writer at Writing Populist and Student Writing Services. She writes about the latest tech, marketing trends, innovations, and strategies. She writes for online magazines and blogs, such as Academized, as well as numerous others.