By now, the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 has greatly impacted all of our lives, including those of our pets. Our pets have definitely noticed the changes, spending more time with us at home as they provide comfort and company to their stressed-out humans.
Here's how you can care for your pets and stick to their familiar routines while taking necessary precautions while you're in quarantine.
Preparing For Quarantine
When stocking up on supplies, don't forget about your pets. Try to stock up on about 4-6 weeks of food to make sure they don't run out if you're not able to leave home. You can have your pet's food delivered so you will not need to go to the pet store.
Also, consider stocking up on first aid items like a thermometer, wound spray, liquid bandages, and bandaging tape, that way you can take care of minor issues if you're unable to get to the vet.
If you think you might get sick, you may want to prepare a set of written instructions to give to your pet's temporary caretaker. Write down your pet's meal schedule, medications and how to administer them, cleaning and care routines, as well as regular and emergency veterinarian phone numbers.
Can Pets Spread Coronavirus?
While pets can't get sick from coronavirus, as with any surface, their coat can act as a fomite - a surface on which the virus can survive and spread between people, just like a toilet seat or grocery cart handle.
Ideally, if someone in your household is sick, they should avoid contact with pets. If you get sick, you should have someone else care for your pets until you recover. If you're sick and nobody else can care for your pets, your pets should be quarantined with you.
Does Your Pet Need Prescription Medications?
If your pet is due for an exam, now's the time to schedule a visit with your veterinarian. While most vet clinics across the country are still open, some may temporarily close or only offer emergency services.
To bypass the waiting room, you can ask your veterinary receptionist if you can wait in your car with your pet. They can call you when your pet's exam room is ready.
You may be able to call your vet to have your pet's medication prescribed without an exam. You can order your pet's prescription medications from 1800PetMeds.com. Just enter your veterinarian's contact details during checkout, and we'll verify your pet's prescription and send their meds out to your doorstep.
Walking Your Dog While In Quarantine
If you have a safe, fenced-in backyard for your dog to get their business done, you can continue to let them out as usual.
If you live in an apartment and have to take your dog for daily potty walks, it's relatively safe to go outside. Just make sure you stay at least six feet away from other people. Avoid touching doorknobs, handrails, and other frequently touched public surfaces.
But if you live in a densely populated city and would rather not go for walks, you can teach your dog to go potty inside on Wee-Wee Pads. Dress your pet up in their leash and harness as you would when going for an outside walk, but take them to their pad instead. It can also help to use their own scent to attract them to the pad. You can do this by using a paper towel to sop up a small amount of urine outside, then wipe it across the pad to load it with their scent.
While you're spending more time indoors, make sure to provide exercise and mental stimulation through training, games, and puzzle toys. You can use portions of your dog's meals as treats. Hide-and-seek, fetch, and makeshift indoor agility or nosework courses can all keep your dog entertained during quarantine.
As always, wash your hands for at least twenty seconds after going outside, handling your pet's wastes, and after close contact.