It’s a scary time for the world right now. COVID-19 and it’s status around the world changes daily, and there are enough things to be stressed about to last a lifetime. For us pet owners, it’s an especially scary time. You might find yourself asking, as most of us are, how can I care for my pet? Can they get this virus? What can I do to keep them safe?
Though the news of this virus is ever-changing, there’s good news: we can keep our pets healthy, safe, and happy during this quarantine. Though our pet care may look different now than it did just weeks or months ago, it’s stil possible to give your pet the love, care and attention they deserve in this confusing time. We know how scary it is not knowing what may happen with our beloved fur-babies, so we’ll answer as much as we possibly can for all pet owners in this guide to pet care during quarantine. First off,
Can your pet get Coronavirus?
It seems every pet owner around has heard the news of the tiger at the Bronx Zoo testing positive for Coronavirus, along with a litany of other tigers at the zoo showing symptoms and coughs. This is scary news for us pet owners, as it was the first known case of an animal contracting the virus from a human. If a tiger can contract this virus, does that mean our pets can, too?
At this point, the CDC has said they have no evidence showing that companion animals can contract COVID-19 from their human counterparts, or visa versa. Though that isn’t quite the concrete answer pet lovers are looking for, the good news is that the chances of your pet contracting or giving you COVID-19 is extremely low.
What can you do to keep your pets healthy during quarantine?
Just because our pets don’t have coronavirus doesn’t mean they won’t also suffer from the consequences of quarantine. Shy, solitary pets may be stressed and confused as to why everyone in their habitat is now home 24/7. They may not be getting as much exercise as they normally would, with dog parks and other areas closed to the public. And don’t forget, animals can pick up on our stress. With so much going on, we’re all probably pouring some negative energy into our pets right night.
Don’t get too discouraged, though. Our pets will make it through quarantine by our sides, and there are still so many wonderful things you can do to keep your furry loved-ones happy, healthy and safe.
1. Contact your vet and create an emergency plan
Different animal welfare organizations have worked their tails off to ensure veterinary practices get the appropriate “essential business” title so they can remain open and continue to provide life-savings services to our pets. However, this is not an all-encompassing rule for every practice.
Make sure to reach out to your vet and know what their policies are going forward during quarantine. Most likely, you won’t be able to get in any time soon for elective, non-life-saving services. However, most clinics remain open to address emergencies, either through virtual telemedicine visits, or in-person.
Contact your vet to get a sense of the services they’re still offering, and what to do in case your pet has an emergency health issue they need attended to immediately. Your pets may have to wait a while on getting a proper grooming or nail clipping, but you should still have access to resources for your pet in terms of emergency health care.
2. Get creative with exercise
It might be difficult, however, to keep up with regular fitness routines for your pets now that public areas are shut down all over the country. Most state parks remained open for a few weeks, but with more and more areas shutting down for health reasons, there are less and less areas to take your furry friends.
Try to aim for at least one long, brisk walk for your dogs every day (while keeping a safe distance from others), to keep them moving, get them out of the house and promote good potty habits. Even though a walk around the same old neighborhood might be boring for you, there are always new smells for our pups to explore.
If walks have become boring for you and your family, try spicing up the routine by adding in some super cute accessories. Good Hound Company carries adorable, handcrafted walk wear that not only look amazing, but are made from high quality materials that will last.
For all other pets, and to give your doggies some extra love, make sure you carve out time every day to play indoors with your pets at home. Break out the laser pointer or catnip toys for your cats, sensory toys for small animals, and favorite chew toys for dogs. 30 minutes of play every day will help keep your animals limber and healthy, and should help keep the more active animals busy while you try to get your work done from home.
3. Keep their stress levels down
The last thing you need in your life right now is more stress, which is why it’s so important to remain calm around your furry friends. As mentioned in the CheatSheet article above, our pets can pick up on our emotions, and even display them, especially our stress. If your pet is constantly around you yelling, being frustrated, or simply being constantly stressed, they’re going to get stressed as well.
The best thing you can do for your pets is take care of yourself and your mental health. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take time each day to destress, think of the positives and anything else that makes you happy and calm. Your animals will thank you for it.
If you have especially skittish, stress-prone animals, there are many other tactics you can try. One of our absolute favorites is incorporating anti-stress essential oils or pet drops onto bandanas that your animals can wear. Vets have sworn by this method to help animals stay healthy and calm. And lucky for you, Good Hound Company has an entire selection of bandanas that will make you swoon, and that will make your pet happy as a clam with a few destressing drops (if you’ve never used or heard of animal de-stress drops before, here’s a popular choice on Amazon).
4. Leave their collars on
Some pets really do not like their collars. We get it--- they can be uncomfortable, itchy, and annoying! You might be inclined to let your pets off the hook and roam the house without their collars now that we’re all in lockdown, but it probably isn’t the best idea. Though they’re most likely not spending much time outside alone, we know there are sneaky pets who still find a way of escaping!
With limited local government resources, now is not the time you want to lose your pet (not that there’s a good time). Animal control and local shelters don’t have the staff or support they are used to, and your pet might end up lost for far longer than they would if they ran off during normal circumstances. You’ll want to keep collars on your pets during these times, to ensure they’ll make their way back to you if anything happens.
If it’s time for a new collar, Good Hound Company has you covered - their leather collars are made with high quality vegetable tanned top grain leather with solid brass hardware.
5. Give to local rescues and shelters, if you can
Last, but certainly not least, think about all the other animals who need our help during this uncertain time. Many shelters in the area remain open with extremely limited staff and resources. Difficult choices will have to be made in the coming months, and donations will help offset the negative impacts of Coronavirus on the local shelter animal population.
If you have the means to give, reach out to your local shelter and see what they need. Whatever you can give makes a huge impact in the life of every shelter dog, cat, and small critter. At Good Hound Company, we’re dedicated to giving back to these organizations and helping local animals as much as we possibly can. Every purchase made with our company includes a portion of proceeds that goes back to helping animals in need.
During this stressful time, it’s important that we stick together and continue to provide our best care for the animals in our lives. They offer so much companionship, support and love to us - it’s the least we can do to continue providing quality care to them. Keep loving your pets everyone, and stay safe out there!
Blog post written by guest author, Jordan Safranski.