Having a dog can change your life. A dog means that you’ve got a constant and loving companion. Someone who loves you and shows it. Who is loyal and affectionate and who is always there when you need them. Owning a dog can improve your mental health, boost your social interactions, and encourage you to get more exercise.
But now, normal life is very different. We can’t take our dogs to our favorite dog parks. We can’t let them run free, playing with their friends while we chat with other dog owners. If you are ill, you might struggle to look after them, and getting to the vets can be difficult.
The good news is, that there isn’t currently any evidence that COVID-19 affects dogs or that they can transmit the virus to humans. Having a dog shouldn’t make you sick, and you shouldn’t be able to affect them if you become unwell. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take some extra precautions. Here are some tips to help you to look after your dog while practicing social-distancing or even living in self-isolation:
Find a Quiet Time to Walk:
At the moment, as long as you are in good health, at no increased risk, and have no symptoms of COVID-19, you are allowed to take your dog out for a walk. But, it’s best practice to stay at least two meters away from anyone else, to avoid the possible spread of the virus. If you usually walk in quite a busy park, you might find it easier to avoid other people if you find a quieter time to walk, perhaps first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Keep Him on a Lead:
Social distancing becomes a lot harder when your dog is off the lead, and you’ve got less control over where they run. Keep them on their lead whenever you go out, and remember to wash the grip before you go out and when you get home.
Save Money on Pet Care:
Pet care can be expensive, and if you can’t work at the moment, you may be keen to save money wherever you can. Save money by printing a petmeds coupon and try shopping around for pet food and any other supplies. Don’t forget to shop on sale!
Find Out More About Your Vet’s Policy:
Hopefully, your vet is still open and seeing patients. Even if you don’t need to see them, it’s a good idea to be prepared, as their policies may have changed. Look on their website or social media pages to see if any restrictions have been put in place. You may have to book in advance, and you might not be allowed into the surgery until your appointment time, to minimize contact in the waiting areas. If you do need to see your vet, wash your hands before and after, avoid touching your face, and consider wearing a mask while you are out of the house.
Minimize Contact If You Are Symptomatic:
If you are symptomatic, however mild your symptoms are, you should go into self-isolation straight away. Then, while there is no evidence that your pet could become affected, not enough is known about how they may carry the virus on their fur or collar, so avoid too much contact until your symptoms subside.
Arrange for an Alternative Walker:
If you are self-isolating, you shouldn’t even leave the house to walk your dog, nor should anyone else in your household. If you have a garden, you may be able to manage, but if not, it’s important that your dog gets some exercise. Arrange for someone else to collect (without entering your home or coming within two meters of you) your dog for walks, bringing their own lead, and not making contact with anything from within your home.
Keep Stocked Up on Food and Other Supplies:
You don’t need to stockpile pet food and supplies, but it is a good idea to have at least a week’s worth at all times, in case you struggle to get out and can’t get a delivery.
Use the tips above to keep taking the best care of your four legged friends during this difficult time.
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