Caring for your dogs if you’re unwell or having to self-isolate due to coronavirus.
We are in a very worrying and difficult time at the moment as fears grow about Covid-19 (Coronavirus) which is sweeping across the world and causing uncertainty to most people’s daily lives.
But there is one thing that is certain, if you are a dog owner, you can be sure that your beloved dog will be there to comfort you whether you fall ill or are having to self-isolate. We also need to make sure that we look after our dogs, there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 can be passed to your dogs or that they are carriers, however, it may impact them if you contract the virus or have to stay at home.
One thing we must urge people not to do is panic or abandon their dogs. There are many things we can all do to help give our dogs the care they need, even in difficult situations that we are all facing today.
Our tips for keeping your pets safe
If you are not self-isolating and are able to carry on with your normal routines you can, of course, continue to interact with your pets as normal but adhere to Government advice on washing your hands more regularly, for 20 seconds, before and after food, before and after touching your pet or any items belonging to them such as toys or bedding.
Avoid being kissed or licked with your pet – one we know most will struggle to do!
Ensure you have enough supplies of food and medication should you need to self-isolate.
Please contact your vet directly if you have any concerns regarding medication or if your pet is ill. Your vets might also have procedures in place to help minimise the risk to their customers and staff.
If you are socially distancing yourself the Government advice is that you are able to go for a walk but you must stay two meters away from others.
How to care for your dog if you are self-isolating
Our advice is not to panic, there are many ways in which you can ensure your dog has the care it needs if you have to self-isolate.
If you are not able to get help with your dog there are ways in which you can help keep your dog happy in these difficult times. You can still allow your dog to go out in the garden for a leg stretch and to relieve themselves but there are also lots of ways to keep them mentally stimulated too.
We can use lots of different exercises that help keep your dogs mentally stimulated which replace their usual walk until you are able to resume normal routines.
Change their feeding routine. Do you give your dogs food in a bowl? Why not change it around and place it into a KONG toy, freeze it and then split the meals out throughout the day. This helps keep your dogs busy for a while and then they will have a few treats throughout the day, depending on how many meals they have.
You can also get some lickimats for your dogs, these can help reduce boredom, stress and anxiety. They come in a number of sizes for small to large dogs and work very well to keep your dogs busy.
Why not play with your dogs more, do they like fetch? Clear some space in your living room and play fetch inside or in your garden. Have a tug-of-war with them, play hide and seek – they love to use their noses and maybe try and teach them some new tricks. You could even upload them ono social media to give other people some ideas!
Give them something to listen to; surveys suggest that classical music helps to relax dogs – worth a try!
How to care for your dog if you are showing signs or have tested positive for Covid-19.
If you are showing symptoms or have tested positive the current advice from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association recommends “You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with Covid just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with Covid, it is still recommended that people sick with Covid limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.”
Where it is possible, have another member of the family care for your dog whilst you are sick. If you are sick try to avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you are unable to get help then please wash your hands before and after contact with your dog and use hand sanitiser.
If you are worried about your dog at any time please always consult your vet, if they advise for a trip to the vets then someone will need to do this on your behalf.
Please remember that these are precautionary measures, we must stress that there is no evidence that pets can spread coronavirus or become unwell.
Please note that this advice is a guide only and is based on advice from medical officials. It is subject to change on a regular basis to reflect with current information and guidance for pet owners.
Posted: March 19, 2020