Coronavirus and Pets – What Pet Owners Need to Know

coronavirus and petsTrying to keep up with the news about the coronavirus can be overwhelming, and as a pet owner, you’re not just worried about yourself, but your pet as well. In this article, we’ll cover some of the common questions pet owners have about the coronavirus and pets.

Can Pets Get Coronavirus?

No. “There is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  The fact is, the type of coronavirus that’s currently affecting people around the world is not a type of coronavirus that dogs and cats can get or transmit.  The AKC (American Kennel Club) agrees regarding dogs:  “Dogs can contract certain types of coronaviruses, such as the canine respiratory coronavirus, but this specific novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is believed to not be a threat to dogs.”

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Can I Get the Coronavirus from My Pet?

No. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence that a dog or other pets can contract or spread the disease among themselves or humans.

Animals spread viruses between one another that are genetically distinct from human viruses. The genetic distinction makes it extremely difficult for humans and their pets to pass diseases on to one another. (Except for the rabies virus, which is known to be transmitted from dogs to people.)

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What Pet Owners Should Be Doing

Here are some things you can do right now.

Stay Informed.  It’s important to realize that viruses are constantly evolving.  At this time, the COVID-19 virus does not appear to be a problem for cats and dogs, but it is possible that this could change in the future as our knowledge about and understanding of the virus improves.  The best thing we can do as pet owners is to stay informed by monitoring news from credible sources.

Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.  Good hygiene is one of the best ways to defend against any sort of infectious agents.  Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially if you’ve been near a sick person and after handling animal or human waste.  It’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.

Stock Up on Pet Supplies.  Your supplies should consist of at least a 30-day supply of food plus a 30-day supply of your pet’s medications.

Designate a Care Giver.  You may wish to arrange for a care giver in case you were to become ill.  Remember to gather your pet’s information and medical records for that caregiver.

If You Think Your Pet is Sick.  If your pet is ill, seek appropriate veterinary attention and follow a doctor’s recommendations when it comes to vaccination and other forms of preventative care.

Donate to Help Animals

The ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States are two reputable organizations that would accept donations to help animals.  You can donate to the ASPCA HERE, and the Humane Society HERE.

Provide foster care for a pet.  Animal shelters are highly in need of people to foster pets amid the coronavirus fear.  For more information, visit:

You can also contact your local SPCA to see if they need help.

For More Information

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Stay Up to Date!

Up to date information and understanding about the virus is continuing to evolve.  Information could change about the disease and its impact on pets and their owners in the coming weeks and months.  Stay updated and informed.

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10 Tips When Caring for a Senior Dog

Older dogs have different care requirements as compared to their younger counterparts. But to most people, a dog will always be a puppy even after reaching canine years, or even after their fur turns gray.

But eventually, a time will come when you realize that your dog is panting harder even when taking short walks or is struggling to climb onto the bed or the sofa. At that time, you’ll need to adjust to the lifestyle requirements of a senior dog.

Below you’ll find tips that will help you take care of your senior dog appropriately. Read on to learn more.

1.  Watch Your Dog’s Diet

Senior dogs are less active, and therefore you should avoid feeding them a diet with large amounts of calories. This will help prevent your dog from gaining extra weight that could lead to many health problems. Talk to your vet so you can understand the right diet for your aging dog.

2.  Exercise Your Dog

Exercise is a great way to keep your senior dog lean and maintain a healthy body. Just like people, as dogs age, they are unable to perform certain physical activities as they used to do when they were young. But exercises remain an important aspect of their health and well being.

Therefore, you should involve your dog in certain physical exercises. But you should tailor the exercises to the individual needs of your dog.

If your dog has not been doing exercises for a long time, start slow as you increase the intensity gradually. It is also important to consult a veterinarian to understand the duration of exercise suited for your dog.

For more information, read this article, Exercising Elderly Dogs.

3.  Involve Your Senior Dog in Social Activities

As dogs age, they tend to be less active and some even disengage from social activities. Even if your dog is too weak to go to the dog park, he’s definitely missing his pet pals, and so you should plan for some play dates. Through this, your dog will socialize and enjoy being in a less-restricted environment.

It is also important to take your dog with you when going out for family outings, instead of leaving him alone just because he has slowed down. Create a comfortable space for your pet in the car, drive slow, and book nice a pet friendly hotel.

4.  Have a Vet Check Your Dog More Often

As dogs get older, their immune system also gets weak. It is therefore important to have your dog checked by a vet at least twice a year. Just like senior people need routine care from the doctors, pets will also benefit from these visits.

Your older pet will require additional blood tests, dental care, as well as other examinations. Besides, some breeds have predispositions towards certain health conditions such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.  Frequent visits and early detection will help you discover these ailments before they become life threatening.

5.  Consider Dental Health

It is important to maintain the dental hygiene of your aging dog. Be sure to brush and clean your dog’s teeth to prevent dental diseases, decay, and chewing problems.

If it’s a challenge to brush and clean your dog’s teeth, you can opt for dental toys and dental treats instead.

6.  Watch Out for Any Behavioral Changes

Your dog can’t speak, but looking at his behavioral changes, you can know if he is ailing or not. While a senior dog is usually less active, paying attention to uncommon behavior can help detect problems early. Some dogs get excessively cranky when they are in pain or avoid interaction.

Signs such as decreased appetite, increased irritability or agitation, changes in urination, and increased water consumption could also mean that your dog is unwell.

7.  Keep Obesity at Bay

Overweight pets are at a higher risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even skin disease. You should ask your veterinarian about the nutritional requirements of a senior dog because overweight dogs need a special type of diet that provides the nutrients needed while allowing for weight loss.  

For instance, there are special diets with low calories and high L-carnitine content that can help in slow and steady weight loss.

8.  Provide Special Accommodation for Your Senior Dog

Just like puppies need customized boxes to sleep and stay warm,  you should also provide special accommodation for your aging dog.

If your dog is suffering from joint issues or hip dysplasia, install ramps that your dog can use to get to climb the bed or even the car. Also, ensure that food and water are kept in places where your pets can easily reach them, especially for those with vision impairments.

If you live in cold climates, consider providing your dog with heated beds, especially those with achy joints.

9.  Consider Regular Checks for Arthritis

The American Veterinary Medical Association shows that many pets suffer from arthritis. Therefore, you should have your dog checked for arthritis more often. If you notice signs such as decreased activity, difficulty climbing stairs, difficulty sitting or standing and seemingly stiff joints, you should contact your vet.

10.  Keep Your Dog Occupied with Toys

You can use toys to keep your old dog occupied. This will not only help keep your pets entertained but also help in weight loss. Toys that require chewing or promote activity will also stimulate the aging muscles and keep your dog healthier for longer.

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Here’s what you’ll get when you sign up for free dog leash training tips:

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