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Mar-18-2020 16:30printcomments

Keep You and Your Canine Safe in the Age of the Coronavirus

Seven Tips to make sure your pets are healthy and safe.

dog health
Photo: Bonnie King,

(SALEM, Ore.) - There are a lot of things pet parents have always had to worry about, and some things that take you by surprise. For example, an unexpected situation ending with a dog bite could result in a lawsuit, while an invisible invader like heart worms are always a very real, and very deadly, possibility for our beloved furry friends.

In today’s world, we have something new to worry about— Coronavirus or COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) originally stated that there was no evidence that animals, like cats and dogs, could be infected with the virus. However, that message was taken down from their official website after a case of a dog testing positive for the virus emerged in China.

So far, there is no evidence that dogs can spread the disease, or that it will cause your companion to fall ill. However, it’s always a good idea to proceed with caution to make sure both you and your canine are safe, happy, and healthy, no matter what pandemic we’re currently dealing with.

In these trying times, it's better to be safe than sorry.

1. Know What Illnesses Dogs Can Get and Pass on to You

It’s looking like dogs can get COVID-19, but they won’t show any symptoms, and it doesn’t look like they can transmit it to humans. However, only time will tell whether that’s really true or not.

In the meantime, it’s a good idea to know what dogs can get and pass on to you.

Rabies can be passed to humans, which is why it’s so important that your dog is vaccinated for this illness regularly. Ringworm is another disease that dogs and cats can pass to humans, in addition to salmonella and noroviruses.

2. Keep Things Clean

Once you know what your dog can get and pass on to your family, you know what kinds of symptoms you can look out for. It will also encourage you to keep things clean.

It has been recommended that we wash our hands frequently during this Coronavirus outbreak. However, it has been recommended as a way to prevent illness for a long time, and it has been recommended as proper etiquette around animals for a long time as well.

The things on your dog's fur can make you sick, whether they are sick or not. Washing your hands frequently can prevent you from getting sick, and it can keep you from passing something on to your pet.

3. Budget the Costs Associated With Taking Care of Your Pet

Owning a dog costs more than many people probably realize. If you’re struggling to make ends meet during the Coronavirus outbreak, it’s important for you to get real about your budget and plan accordingly to take care of your dog.

Make sure you include things in your budget like:

  • Veterinary visits
  • Medications
  • Food
  • Accessories

If you need to look for ways to save money, buy food in bulk and eliminate treats from your pet’s diet.

4. Have a Backup Care Plan

If you come down with COVID-19 or any other illness, will you be able to take care of your dog? Chances are, it would be nice to have a little help taking care of your pet while you’re feeling under the weather.

Having a backup plan in place can ensure your dog has care, even if you can’t provide the right care due to an illness.

Ask a friend or family member to be that person, or have a dog walker on call who can take care of your pooch during the day. A local pet hotel may also be an option. That way, you can get the rest you need.

5. Keep All Your Pet’s Information in One Place

Accidents and emergencies happen. Will you be prepared to take care of your dog when the time comes? Or, if you need help taking care of your pooch while you’re recovering from an illness, will the person taking care of your furry friend know who to call?

It’s a good idea to keep all of your pet’s information in one place. A few things to add to the list of important information include:

  • Contact information for your pet’s veterinarian.
  • Medication and dosages they take.
  • Date of important vaccinations.
  • When and how they take flea medication.
  • Any specific dietary requirements.
  • Daily routines.
  • Favorite toys and activities.

6. Feed Your Pooch a Healthy Diet

No matter what health challenges your family, your dog, or the world is facing, it’s always a good idea to make sure everyone eats a healthy diet. The right food will help your dog beat a wide variety of illnesses, and healthy nutrition can make recovering from an illness faster and easier.

The challenge is in figuring out what food is right for your dog. In general, you should always look for food that contains high-quality ingredients that you actually recognize.

Large dogs have different food requirements than small dogs, as do puppies and senior animals. It’s a good idea to speak to your vet about any dietary guidelines your specific pooch should follow. They may also be able to provide you with a recommendation.

7. Visit the Vet If Your Pooch Is Sick

Visiting the vet isn’t cheap, but it’s important to the health of your dog. You should schedule annual appointments to make sure your pet is properly vaccinated. Your veterinarian can also identify potential problems that you may not have noticed.

In addition to scheduling annual appointments, you should schedule an appointment at your veterinary clinic if your dog isn’t behaving the way he normally does, or if you can tell he is sick.

They can determine what is making your dog ill, and they can request a COVID-19 test if your dog has been in contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus.

Living with COVID-19 is scary, especially now that the possibility exists that it can affect our pets. Regardless of whether or not you have tested positive for Coronavirus, it is imperative that we all do what we can to keep ourselves and our beloved family pets safe, happy, and healthy.

Source: Special Features Dept.


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Anonymous March 19, 2020 12:03 am (Pacific time)

False, fake news. The WHO just stated that pets can not get the Wuhan virus. Because if your incompetence, people are going to dump their pets on the side of the road

EDITOR: False accusation. Maybe you missed this part of the article:
"The World Health Organization (WHO) originally stated that there was no evidence that animals, like cats and dogs, could be infected with the virus. However, that message was taken down from their official website after a case of a dog testing positive for the virus emerged in China.   So far, there is no evidence that dogs can spread the disease, or that it will cause your companion to fall ill."

Also, there is no such thing as the "Wuhan Virus". Get your facts straight.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.