• Rhizaldy Manalo

A COVID-19 Survival Guide for You and Your Dog-go

You’re probably wondering about COVID-19, and if whether or not your furry best friend can get it or transmit it?

We absolutely adore our pets. I, for one, love our family dog Samboy - my white furry canine whom I think could benefit from a who-should-I-bark-at lesson.

Knowing how we can help our dogs, during these government-mandated quarantine periods means understanding ways to enjoy simple things like long walks (in my case - jogging) with Samboy, or having doggie spa days at home while watching the latest episode of Supernatural, and keeping your special best friend close to you.

This article will explain what animal professionals are saying about dogs and COVID-19.

So far, there’s no research that indicates whether or not our pets can transmit COVID-19. The Philippine Veterinary Medical Association reassures all pet parents that are concerned about the transmission of COVID- 19 that “there is no evidence that indicates that pets can become ill with COVID-19, however they may be able to transmit it to people.”

With all the misinformation spreading, it’s recommended that you only take into account what the experts have to say. This means that medical professionals, scientific agencies, and veterinary updates are accurate.

Albeit there were cases of cats being infected with SARS-COV-2 a.k.a. COVID-19 by their human owners as well as proof of cat to cat transmission. Dogs turned out to be much more resistant to the virus and are unable to transmit it to other animals as far as the unnatural experiment concluded. Infected cats and dogs reported however got the infection through their owners being COVID-19 patients.

Thankfully, the chances of them contracting the infection and transmitting the virus to you or to other animals are low given normal circumstances. 

Therefore, caring for as fur parents shouldn't be a problem as it’s important that you enjoy the basics like walking them on safe zones, and taking good care of them as usual even while you’re holed up inside your home. 

Radical lifestyle changes should not mean that your pets would have to go on without necessary veterinary care, high-quality nutrition, supplements for pain and anxiety, regular exercise, and more! Moving forward though, it will be necessary to plan ahead and to shop online in order to stock up on pet supplies and supplements that we may need while in quarantine. 

Who knows when this will end, right?

Can Your Dog Get or Transmit COVID-19?

The PVMA always tries to update us with the latest developments on the pandemic, and their potential impacts on patients, and their pets.

That said, you’re probably also wondering if you can interact, and hug and kiss your dog during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is what the PVMA has to say, “If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would, including walking, feeding, and playing.

You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet, ensure your pet is kept well-groomed, regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).

The PVMA also goes on to add the following message to everyone, ”Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a face mask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them."

While it's very unlikely that household pets like dogs or cats will transmit this Coronavirus to people, you may skip the face kisses for now and wash your hands and face regularly after being with pets. Always include your pets in your emergency preparedness plans.

How to Prepare for COVID-19 With Your Dog?

Hunkering down with Samboy for a few weeks is easy if you’re organized. It doesn’t have to be difficult, and with some Animal Planet, enjoyable in-house hikes, indoor agility courses, puzzle toys, and a few good books, it can be a good opportunity to spend quality one-on-one time together.

Keep in mind that your dog is going to feel everyone’s stress, and in much the same way that you have to be relaxed and calm around your children, the same has to be done with your furry best friend.

Emergencies come in many forms, and some of us may be used to them by way of typhoons, and earthquakes. Today, COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise, but how we take care of one another, including our pets is vital in maintaining normalcy. To get started, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve done the following. If not, be sure to do them soon.

  1. Microchip your pet, or at least get a leash

  2. Keep an emergency go-pet bag by the front door with your pet’s vaccination and health papers, an extra supply of meds and supplements, dog vests, meds for anxiety and pain, grooming kit, water and feed bowls, and of course - food.

  3. You should have enough dog or cat food for the entire month. If not, be sure to order this online, and have it delivered if you’re self-isolating or in quarantine. The same applies supplements and pet meds, make sure that you have enough.

  4. Keep your pets nearby or inside your home, and accompany them outdoors if you have a yard to make sure that they’re safe. With all the misinformation going around, you’ll need to keep an eye out.

  5. Never leave your pets alone at home without care. They count on you, and need your support and consult with your veterinarian from time to time.

Making The Best of Self-Isolation with Fido

1. Having your furry best friend next to you during a mandatory self-isolation period means that you can enjoy quality time with them. Studies have demonstrated how being next to our pets helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in them. Even if you’re feeling that you’re coping, your dog might not be.

2. Your pet will also keep you company if you’re experiencing bouts of loneliness during this period. Taking your dogs out for long walks can still allow for social distancing - provided there's no lockdown. Think of all the health benefits – a stronger immune system, less depression, more energy, and less anxiety and stress.

3. You can work on some obedience training via Skype with your trainer, create an indoor agility course, and opt for a full-on spa day with pawdicures and popcorn while watching Netflix - all from the comfort of home.

There are no one-size-fits-all formula to working through this radically strange time, but no matter how hard it may seem, being organized and well-prepared with your furry best friend is key to staying on top of things with a paw-positive attitude! And just remember, pets don’t transmit or carry COVID-19!

Rhiz Manalo is the Managing Partner to CentrAsia Tours a Central Asia Tourism Agency, Co-Founder, and Managing Partner of The White Dog Collective experts in corporate and SMB digitization. He is a seasoned Digital Marketer, a prolific Blogger, career-driven Systems Architect, creative Web Designer, and a loving father to a beautiful 7-year-old girl whom he misses so much!

Check out his portfolio here.

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