Coronavirus in dogs – what we know so far
‘’While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.’’ – The World Health Organization
In the beginning of this week we learned that unfortunately, the Hong Kong dog that tested ‘’low level positive’’ for Coronavirus, passed away, just a few days after being released from quarantine.
The 17-years-old Pomeranian died on Monday, 16th March 2020. However, the cause of death remains unknown. The dog’s owner who recovered from the COVID-19 infection refused to conduct an autopsy.
Therefore it is unclear whether the dog died because of the Coronavirus or not. The Pomeranian’s health condition was closely monitored under the quarantine but the pet didn’t show any alarming symptoms. There are no more cases discovered and even after the Hong Kong dog’s death, the World Health Organization strongly believes that there is no real evidence that pets can get infected. There is no need to worry then. Let’s stay calm and use the time at home to strengthen the bond with our pets. How to care for your dog during the coronavirus outbreak?
How to protect your dog
If you are healthy, we hope, it is enough to follow basic hygienic precautions to protect your dog, such as washing your hands thoroughly before interacting with them.
There is no need for your dog to wear a face mask during a walk. However, you should consider wiping their paws after coming back home. Similar to you, your pooch might have touched or stepped on an infected object or surface. So to reduce the chance of spreading the virus, it would be wise to wipe their paws as a safety measure.
If you tested positive with the Coronavirus, it is strongly recommended to avoid any kind of contact with other people as well as with your pet. Your dog might easily pass it on another person or animal when it gets on their fur or skin.
In this case, don’t hesitate to ask a healthy relative to temporarily take care of your dog. If for some reason it is not possible, wear a face mask and gloves before feeding your dog and taking them for a walk. Additionally, as emotionally painful as it might be, for the sake of your beloved pup, reduce the interaction to the minimum until the end of your quarantine period.
The priority should be securing the necessary supplies for your dog. The ASPCA even encourages pet owners to prepare a 30-day supply emergency kit, consisting of food and medications. Furthermore, the organization advises designating a family member or a close friend who would be willing to take your dog under their care while your recovery. You may consider writing down a list of your dog’s food preferences, daily habits, behavioural tendencies, medical conditions and contact information to your veterinary doctor, just in case of emergency.
How to keep your dog entertained
Although it might not be possible to provide your dog with as much physical activity as usual, especially if you live in a city, there are creative ways to keep your dog entertained. Spend quality time with your pup and try out mental stimulation training.
In the Dogo App, you will find many fun, mentally challenging exercises. Have you heard about Dogo training programs? Take a personalized test to let us recommend the best training plan for your dog. Depending on your dog’s skills, you can choose:
If you are looking for even more creative ideas, check out Dogo games such as ‘’Hide&Seek’’, ‘’Destroy the boxes’’, ‘’Muffin tin’’, ‘’Talk to me!’’. Trust us, the games will turn out to be great fun for both of you!
Read more about Dog games. Activities with your dog at home here.
How to stay calm
The truth is that the current situation is challenging and stressful for all of us, even for our pets. They can sense our feelings and they notice the change in their daily routine. Even though they are happy that their pawrents are home much more often, they also see that the walk time is reduced. Because of that, to prevent them from boredom or behavioural problems like destructive tendencies or increased barking, make sure to keep them occupied in a healthy, interactive way.
Therefore, to answer how to care for your dog during the coronavirus outbreak, it is crucial to provide as much mental stimulation activities and playtime as you can. There is no doubt that we will also benefit from taking our minds off the situation the world is facing by focusing on bonding with our beloved pups instead. You probably never had enough time for it so make great use of your time together.