Keeping Your Dog Healthy during a Pandemic

man playing with a dog

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic in March 2020. The months that followed saw lockdowns and stay-at-home orders issued by governments around the world.

Even as people started to feel anxious after staying home for months, the same couldn’t be said for pet owners. Having a pet at home during a pandemic offers a lot of benefits for its owners. Pet ownership lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, lesser feelings of loneliness, and more exercise opportunities.

While dog owners have to stay at home, they still have to make sure their pets’ health is well-maintained. With this in mind, you need to go through the following things so you can take care of your dog’s health.

Walk the Dog

Taking your dog for a walk is important for their mental and physical health. It also gives you the chance to have some fresh air and a little exercise. But the virus is still in the air, so you need to follow the guidelines set by the government in case you decide to take them out for a walk.

For your safety, you should always wear a mask when you go out. On the other hand, don’t put a mask on your dog since your pet can get hurt when you let it wear a mask.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised against allowing your dogs to roam freely outside. It also advises dog owners to limit their interaction with people who aren’t a part of the household. While there were reports that pets, including dogs, contracted the disease in different parts of the world, they only got it when they came into close contact with people who had the disease.

If you’re going to take them out for a walk, use a leash and keep them six feet away from other people. Controlling your dog while you’re out for a walk would be easier if you let your dog go through a private dog-training course. These courses normally teach dogs to respond to your commands. This is quite useful in situations where your dog encounters another animal while out for a walk and is tempted to give chase.

After the walk, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You should also bathe your dog using products your veterinarian has recommended after you go back home.

Visit the Dog Park

The current resurgence of the virus in the United States means it is not advisable to visit places and crowded areas. Since a dog park is normally filled with many people, it’s best to avoid visiting the place until the pandemic is over.

You can bring your dog out for a walk, but you should avoid bringing it to a dog park and other similar places where a lot of people converge.

golden retriever sitting

Activity Outside the Home

Letting your dog play outdoors isn’t limited to a dog park. If you have a fenced backyard, you can bring them outside and allow them to play. In fact, it’s even encouraged to ensure dogs get the exercise they need to keep them healthy.

It’s also a good idea for you to join the fun and play with your dog. This way, you also get your daily dose of sunlight and exercise to maintain your physical and mental health.

But after playing, you should make sure to wash your hands with soap and water. You should also wipe your dog’s paws using dog-friendly grooming wipes before going back inside the house. Moreover, bathing the dog is also a good idea. Just make sure to use the products your veterinarian recommended.

Activity Inside the Home

Besides playing in the backyard, you can also let your dog have a bit of fun inside the house. This is particularly true for households that do not have a fenced backyard where the dog can play.

You can let them use a treadmill so they can exercise while inside the house. Games like fetch using soft toys and indoor scent games can also keep your dogs active.

Veterinary Checkups

Since people are advised to avoid going out unnecessarily, you might want to consider having your dog checked through telemedicine consultations with the veterinarian. You should only bring the dog to the clinic when there’s an emergency. In these instances, you should call the veterinarian ahead of time and inform him about the emergency. This allows the veterinarian to make the necessary preparations once your dog arrives in the clinic.

Having a pet at home is good for your health. Even as your dog takes care of your mental and physical health, you should also do your part and ensure they are healthy and strong until the pandemic is over.

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