How to Care for Your Dog During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted everyone, humans and animals alike. While our dogs may be ecstatic that we get to stay at home with them all day, we, as their owners, may worry about how best to take care of them. This is especially the case if you’re forced to self-quarantine. Here we discuss how to get both you and your dog through these challenging days: 

Can dogs get COVID-19? 

According to several organizations, including the CDC, WHO, and WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association), neither dogs nor cats can contract or spread COVID-19. However, it’s still a good idea to practice good hygiene by washing your hands regularly and cleaning and disinfecting your home. 

What to do when practicing social distancing 

Across the country, people are encouraged to practice social distancing, where we avoid large groups and stay 6 feet away from each other. Some states, including New York, California, and Illinois, are even closing non-essential businesses. What does this mean, then, for your dog? Not much, as it turns out. You can still take them out for walks, and many pet stores are still considered essential businesses. You won’t be able to take them to the groomer, however, and you will only be able to take them to a vet if it’s an emergency.  

What to do if you have to self-quarantine 

Self-quarantining is different from social distancing. With the latter you can still go for a walk or head to the grocery store, while with the former you’re essentially stuck to the confines of your home. If you have a backyard, you can still play with your dog outside. If not, then you’ll have to get a bit more creative. You can play tug-of-war inside, teach them tricks, or order new toys for them online. For potty breaks, you’ll have to take them out onto the porch or designate a spot inside (there are many indoor potty areas you can buy online for this purpose).  

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