As we are now on our second 3 week lockdown period and unsure about whether that will be extended or not, we are taking all the necessary precautions to keep ourselves safe but what about our pets? little is said or known about how to keep our beloved pets healthy.
The current guidelines from knowledge received about the disease is that dogs and cats do not seem to act as transmitters for the coronavirus.
What does the World Health Organisation (WHO) say?
WHO previously was convinced that cats and dogs couldn’t get infected by SARS-COV-2the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but now the agency is not so sure after a report a dog that tested positive in Hong Kong after being with its owner whilst she was positive for the disease. the dog didn’t show any clinical signs of the virus but tested positive all the same. It didn’t have a measurable amount of antibodies to the virus, but that may be because the virus recovered so quickly that the dog’s immune system didn’t have the chance to develop an antibody response. On its website WHO has noted that “there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any other pet can transmit COVID-19”
Can you catch coronavirus from your pet?
Of course, we love our pets dearly and they are part of or family so we need to know the answer to whether we can catch Covid-19 from them. On the 13th March Who issued updated information stating that “at present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can spread coronavirus or indeed be infected with it in the same way as humans ”
Can the virus be spread from touching animals?
Because the virus can live on numerous surfaces, as a precaution the World Health Organization for Animal Health advises washing your hands before and after being with an animal, their food or supplies and avoiding kissing licking or sharing food with them. also, remember social- distancing so avoid going up to other people’s pets and stroking them no matter how tempting it is.
Can I take my dog for a walk?
The government guidelines at the moment are that yes as long as its during your one period of exercise a day you can still walk your dog If there’s two of you in the household you could walk the dog separately so the dog can have 2 walks a day. You need to keep 2 meters away from another person and their dogs. Dogs would be kept on the leads unless you are 100% sure your dog will not approach another person or dog. Its also best practice to walk your dog locally so you don’t have to drive to an area to walk them. if your dog is anti-social and you need to get to a quiet area to walk him then drive to somewhere as close as possible to your home.
Should I restrict my cat from going outside?
At the moment there are no guidelines to suggest your cats should be all kept indoors but you should be more mindful of wiping your cats down when coming back inside making sure you do their paws a swell. If you were in the high-risk category it would be advisable to keep your cats indoors using litter trays.
What if I have been diagnosed with Covid-19
if you suspect you may have the virus or have tested positive for it you should restrict contact with any animals if at all possible, definitely not allowing a pet to move freely from the infected person to the rest of the household. An unaffected family member should take over the care of the pet until you are fully recovered., but again if this is not possible wear protective gloves and thoroughly wash hands and wear a face mask with any interaction with the pet. Most small and medium-size dogs would be ok with a garden if not get someone else to walk your dog for you, there are some professional dog walkers who are still working and knowledgeable about the ways to best protect themselves and others whilst doing so. Keep dogs entertained in the house or garden by paling game with them, making them food puzzles, hiding food for them to find or giving them long-lasting chews and filled Kongs, etc. The best scenario all round would be to arrange for someone else to care for your pet whilst you unwell or in isolation.
Ways to keep your pets amused?
- Scent work just keep it basic if your dog is not used to this so hiding food or their favorite toy and let them search for it.
- Playing tug keeping the tug low and giving your dog easy wins.
- Playing frisbee
- New training ideas or playing games. I have a new online course suitable for lockdown click here for the course Good dog 1 it is a 6-week course with lifetime access but only requiring 5 minutes of training a day.https://schoolfordogs.teachable.com/p/pawspositive-level-1
- Hide and seek in the house and garden where you hide from your dog and let him find you.
- enrichment toys ..check out my pages for enrichment ideas
- spoil your dg with a massage if he likes being touched.
1. Cats love new toys
2. Cats love cardboard boxes big enough for them to sit in and feel safe you could even hide some food in them for them to find.
3. Scrunched up paper to flick around for the cats to chase
4. New scratch posts to keep your cat’s nails down and to keep the cats enriched
5. Groom your cat and give some full and undivided attention with yourselves
If you own a horse or livestock and keep them on land that is not based at your address and your unwell or isolating ask someone else to care for them until you can safely do so.
Please make sure you have pet supplies in just in case you have to self isolate this includes food, medications, litter, poo bags, hay, etc
Make sure you practice a good hygiene routine.
limit physical contact if you suspect you may have COVID-19
Include pets in your precautionary measures to keep their family, which includes your pet’s safety during this time.
Pet owners should pre-determine a friend, family member or boarding facility which could be trusted to take care of your pet if you are taken down by the infection. Making a list of your pet’s normal routine, food, dislikes and likes for the entrusted person to have all the information required to give them the best of care in your absence.
Paws 4 A Break and Paws Positive Dog training hopes both yourself and your family all keep safe and well during this difficult time and we will all see you on the other side of the lock down.