COVID-19 - How to Keep You & Your Pup Safe
It’s sunny. There’s not a cloud in the sky. The birds are chirping. It’s finally time. Your dog has been cooped up, staring at the door then back at you with those puppy eyes for a few days. She’s ready to run, and admittedly, with everything happening with COVID-19, you are, too. You throw on their harness and leash and head for the door for a long walk or their favorite dog park. But wait… What happens if someone approaches your adorable pup on your walk? Can you get the disease from someone else’s dog that may encounter yours? Is this safe? Should I even walk my dog or head to the dog park?
First and foremost, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets, livestock, or wildlife, might be a source of COVID-19 infection at this time. Great news for you and your pets, however, because all animals can carry germs that can make people sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals.
According to the American Kennel Club, as long as the area in which you reside remains safe enough to venture outside, dog owners feeling healthy and well should plan to continue walking their dogs daily, albeit with added safety measures:
- Observe any local ordinances concerning curfews, even if that means adjusting your dog walking schedule.
- If you’re on a walk, still maintain the 6-foot social distance recommended by the CDC. Though your pet may love the attention, viruses and germs can spread on fur or surface items such as collars, leashes, bandannas and other pup attire.
- Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly and following your walk, wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies. Remember, 20 seconds of hand-washing is an adequate amount to prevent the spread of germs.
- Take pets to the veterinarian regularly and talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health. If a shelter in place order prevents you from traveling to your vet, reach out to your local vet and see what the best procedures for taking care of your pet are during this time.
The dog park, on the other hand, is a little different. The AKC recommends a hiatus on crowded dog parks or a dog run. If you absolutely need to take your dog to run off some steam at the dog park, take these actions to keep yourself healthy and safe:
- Visit the park during off-peak hours when there is less likely to be a large crowd of people there.
- Be extra cautious of coming into contact with surfaces, as dog parks can often be breeding grounds for germs.
- Be wary of physical contact with other, unknown dogs during this time. While dogs can’t catch the virus, you never know how many humans may have been in contact with that dog, or how healthy they may or may not be.
As always, be smart about your surroundings when enjoying your walk or visiting the dog park and use your best judgement in all situations during this pandemic. When you return home and are ready to kick back and relax, make sure your pup has their SafetyChew ready to go for a fun, safe chew, every time.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to use code SP20 for 20% off any SafetyChew Starter Pack!