"Covid-19 and Our Precious Pets"

Covid-19 and Our Precious Pets” and “Labradoodles by Cucciolini in Ontario” owners have many questions about the risk of contracting Covid – 19 or spreading the virus to others. 

While Covid-19 can infect animals, currently, there is no evidence that pets or other domestic animals can get infected with this new virus. Further, there is no evidence that pets could be a source of infection to people.

What should pet parents do?

Dogs play a very significant role in people’s lives these days. People often feel isolated and lonely, which makes them primarily dependent on their pets for psychological support, comfort and companionship. You should pay more attention to your pet and give them extra love. So don’t be distant from people and – on the contrary – cuddle your pup!

The human-animal bond is vital for animal health, she said. With so many people working from home, this is a great time to sit back and enjoy your time with your pet. “Go for a walk, keep your distance, but go for your walk. Play ball in your backyard with your dog, and play with your cats with their cat toys. Even fish, relax, enjoy your time with them because it is perfect for our health to reduce our stress.”

Can my Labradoodle go out for a walk?

Unless you’re under strict quarantine rules, you’ll need to take your dog out for walks so they can go potty and exercise. It’s good for your mental well-being and your pets. Remember to stay 6 feet away from other people and pets.

Self-quarantine can be hard in a city where physical space is limited. However, some people with pets may find that training them to use pee pads makes it possible. You can also use artificial grass or sod, which might make the process easier for your dog.

You must do your best to help your pup stay calm, so try acting like you generally do before going for a walk. Get the leash and some poop bags and take them outside.

When you’re on leash duty, and your pup starts to show signs he has got to go, take them over to the area you want, then give them the liberty to do their thing.

(For most pets, this is in the morning, after a walk, feeding, or after a nap.)

If your dog seems like they’re not getting it, don’t worry. Just go about your day as usual and watch for signs that they need to relieve themselves. Then try again later on.

When is it possible to let my dog socialize with other pets?

Out of caution, you should avoid that doggy get-together with your friends or doggy daycare. As with general social distancing, the goal right now is to limit all types of contact as much as possible.

“Just like we don’t want people mixing in large groups, we don’t wish pets were mixing in large groups.”

What if I am stuck at home and have no pet food left? What can I give my pet?

That depends on your pet. In many instances, you should use caution – if they are sensitive to dietary changes, have diarrhea or vomiting with changes to their diet, or have food allergies. 

It’s always best to discuss your pet’s needs with your veterinarian. If that isn’t an option, most dogs will tolerate and enjoy cooked rice mixed 1:1 with cottage cheese or cooked meat (especially chicken, turkey, or hamburger) and will also be more receptive to canned fish, turkey or chicken (or cottage cheese) along with cooked rice. 

Many dogs can go for a short time eating foods generally similar to what we eat, although it’s important to avoid spicy or high-fat foods and carefully remove any bones and excess fat. Avoid grease or fatty drippings from cooking meats.

How do we handle our dogs from becoming virus carriers?

  • Walk on a leash when outdoors.
  • Please avoid contact with persons known or suspected to have exposed him to Covid-19 and Our Precious Pets. Pets can sometimes contract the virus, so wash your hands before and after you handle pets to prevent them from getting it.
  • In contact with high-risk species, it is vital to clean and disinfect animal contact surfaces as soon as possible. For example, if you have had contact with a dog showing signs of flu-like illness, ensure that all areas are clean and disinfected that may have been in close contact.
  • If you catch your pet sneezing, coughing or showing signs of lethargy, it is best to immediately call your vet at the first sign of illness and keep them indoors to prevent further spread.
  • It is unclear whether animals such as ferrets or rats can get infected. However, dog disease symptoms are often associated with common viral and bacterial infections that cannot transmit to people (e.g. kennel cough and canine flu).
  • Consuming wildlife, such as bats that may carry “coronavirus,” may have implications in this global outbreak as the source.
  • If your new pet is and is typically more challenging to care for, it should be kept separate from other animals. You should also consider that these animals can sometimes carry viruses (even though they’re not supposed to), so please consult your veterinarian. Exploring options for keeping your pet indoors might be a good idea.
  • Our research does not indicate that household pets are at all involved in transmitting coronavirus to humans.
  • As pet owners, we must keep our families and pets healthy. Although this plan will require more time and effort, it is crucial to practice responsible pet ownership by keeping your furry friends clean.

Should pets be groomed or cleaned more often?

Not necessarily. Suppose there is no known novel coronavirus exposure in the household and no one in the home is sick. In that case, there is no need to adjust your regular grooming habits unless you ordinarily have your dog groomed by a professional groomer. In the spirit of social distancing and for your (human) protection, I’d recommend bathing your dog at home only during this time. It will help them avoid other peoples’ hands, faces, and possible coughs and sneezes, which they could bring home to you (think about the favourite teddy bear example).

Does my dog need to also wear-a-mask?

No! Putting a mask on the DOG is not recommended. A face mask could be distressing for pets and affect their ability to breathe normally, particularly in flat-faced breeds. To help stop the virus from spreading, washing hands with warm water and soap is vital (especially before and after handling your pet and their food).

Can my pet transmit a coronavirus infection to my family members?

The coronavirus strains that infect dogs and cats cannot be transmitted to people and are unlikely to mutate to a form that can jump to humans. Viruses are most likely to mutate when they are new and unstable. The canine and feline coronavirus strains have been around for decades without infecting humans, meaning they are stable and unlikely to mutate. No evidence exists that companion animals, including dogs and cats, can spread Covid-19 and Our Precious Pets.

Remember that the coronavirus can live on surfaces for a short period, and if a person infected with the virus pets your pup, she could carry the virus on her fur. If coronavirus infection spreads to our area, you should prevent contact with people who may be sick. 

Follow the tips for preventing disease, which include:

  • You are washing your hands for 20 seconds, especially after eating in the bathroom. Ensure you wash your hands with soap and water and again after Coughing, Sneezing, or Blowing your nose.
  • Make sure to use a sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol or higher.
  • Cleaning frequently touched objects, such as cell phones, purses, and computers, with disinfectant spray or wipes.
  • Avoiding contact with sick people
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Staying home if you are sick to prevent exposing others

Is it true that hand sanitizers/anti-bacterial gels are poisonous to dogs?

We are aware of a false post shared on social media that suggests hand sanitizers contain Ethylene Glycol. This chemical is found in antifreeze and is highly toxic to pets. It isn’t true – hand sanitizers contain ‘ethanol’ (alcohol), not ethylene glycol. Ethanol (alcohol) can be harmful if ingested in a large quantity (i.e. an entire bottle), but it evaporates quickly and IS NOT HARMFUL if you lick it in small amounts from your skin or pet’s fur. 

Please do not let this false information prevent you from using hand sanitizer products at this critical time.

What if I have to self-quarantine because of “Covid-19 and Our Precious Pets”?

The number one recommendation is to limit contact with your pet. It includes petting, snuggling, kissing or licking, and sharing food.

Pet owners should also try to make alternate arrangements for their pets in case of illness, but if there is no alternative, wash your hand before and after every interaction.

Service animals should be permitted to stay with their handler. Ensure to wash your hands and limit contact.

Humane Society always recommends washing your hands and practicing good hygiene. Contact your vet immediately when handling or around animals if your dog shows significant health changes.

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