Caring For Your Dog During Quarantine

Caring for your dog during quarantine seems like an easy and simple thing to do, right? Unfortunately, it's not. We need to know their moods and realize that we are changing their daily routine too. And then, when things return to normal, we will be changing their routine yet again.

Who could have imagined that in the year 2020, the entire world would have to quarantine so we could eradicate a global pandemic? How many of us were actually prepared for this? And how many of you anticipated stocking up on food and household supplies to sustain your daily life? On top of that, how many of you had that same level of preparedness for your pets? Things are getting crazy, and who knows for how long. All we can do is take care of ourselves and our loved ones to the best of our abilities.

Since we are all supposed to be self-isolating, it can be hard and unmotivating to be active, to find a new routine, and to feel free. Your pet is also probably confused as to why you're suddenly home every second of the day. And believe it or not, your pet will need time to adjust as well. They will need to find a new routine now that you are home.

To help you and your pet cope with the self-isolation rules, he's a helpful list of things you can do for and with your pet that will ultimately help the both of you.

Try To Avoid Altering Their Routine

Yes, it's great that we get to spend more time with our pets, but keep in mind that throwing off their routine is actually a stress on their body. Try to keep their mealtimes, walks, medication schedules, etc... the same. Adjusting times, or forgetting to do certain things they are used to will only harm them once you return to work. You want to ease into this transition and back out of it as smoothly as you can.

This is especially important for dogs that suffer from adrenal issues, such as Addison's Disease. Any stress that is improperly monitored and treated can literally be life or death. So pay close attention to your dog's moods, actions, and symptoms.

Order Any Pet Essentials Online 

The last time a global pandemic hit in this capacity, there was no internet. We live in an age where we can order online to be shipped directly to us. We can arrange a contactless curbside pickup, and we can support small local businesses from home during this trying time, so let's do that. 

Avoid physically going to the store. 

I find Amazon to be incredibly helpful with certain necessities such as poop bags, treats, pill pockets, toys, Pet House Candles, etc... They have almost everything you and your pet will need.

You can also order online from many pet stores when you need more food or items that you can't find on Amazon. Most stores are taking the necessary precautions by limiting the number of customers in each store at a time or are offering curbside pickup. 

Avoid Using Disinfectant Wipes And Hand Sanitizer

Yes, these items kill germs and are needed to protect yourself, but know that they can also harm your pet. They are, in fact, toxic to animals. So avoid using them on your hands or surfaces that your pet can walk on, lick, or lay on. If you sanitize your hands, be sure to wash them before touching your pet.

The best form of protection for you and your pet is washing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water. Wash your hands before you touch them and especially after.

Walks Are Okay!

As long as you aren't showing symptoms of Covid-19, take your dog for a walk. Let them expend that extra energy, and you too! It's a nice relief to be outside and enjoy the nice weather.

But be mindful of who else is outside walking and keep a healthy distance of 2m/6ft. Don't let your dog engage with other animals, as this will bring you closer to their owners. Just be mindful of your surroundings.

Avoid Kissing Your Dog

It's been said that dogs can't catch Covid-19, which is great, but the virus can live on their fur. I'm sure more information will become available as they study the disease a little more, but in the meantime, as hard as it may be, try not to kiss your dog. 

Lunch Time, Play Time

For me, being able to work from home and cuddle Rocky more often has been a blessing. I find that my days are less stressful, and we can bond a lot more. I make a conscious effort to give him lots of love and attention and play with him whenever possible. This helps both of us expend that extra energy and makes staying indoors easier to handle. 

Wash Their Belongings

When purchasing new items or groceries, I'm seeing a lot of people disinfect the products with wipes. Be careful! This is toxic for your dog; soap and water is the best option, with all-natural/pet safe products being #1. Properly clean the new pet items that you bring into your home.

If you show any Covid-19 symptoms, just as you need to wash your clothes frequently, bathe your dog, wash their beds, toys, bowls, you name it. If you can wash it, wash it.

Keep Your Dog Around You

If you find yourself being the only one home, keep your dog near you. If you are working from the kitchen, living room, home office, bedroom, etc... Bring your dog and their bed into your space. They are happy and comforted by the fact that you're home more often and want to be around you. If your dog is anything like Rocky, they'll want to be in your lap or arms, but that can be a challenge during work hours!

Your Dog Should Be Socially Distancing Too

Just as you shouldn't be in contact with people who don't reside with you, your dog shouldn't either. No one should be petting your dog on walks, no interacting with other dogs, no play-dates, and no partnered walks; just you and your dog. Keeping their contact minimized is the best thing you can do.

Things You Shouldn't Do

  • One thing to note is the chance of your dog getting Covid-19 while walking around the street is very, very low. So don't wipe them down with any sort of product or chemical when you get home (yes, this is happening). If you are overly concerned, bathe them with a gentle dog shampoo.
  • Do not wipe their paw pads or any part of them with disinfectant wipes. This is toxic to them and can also cause severe burning.
  • Don't put a mask on your dog; this will do nothing for you or them. If your dog gets the virus, then it will be from direct human contact, and it will live on their fur. If you are following all of the rules set out to protect you by the CDC, they will also protect your dog.

Visiting Your Vet

Vets remain open for many emergent cases. Before going in for a visit, call ahead and make sure social distancing steps are in place or if they require you to take any steps prior to coming in.

If your dog needs to go to the vet and they are coming from a Covid positive household, you should bathe them first to flush it off and be wearing gloves/a mask yourself. Contact your vet prior to the visit to see what steps you need to take.

At the end of the day, you need to live your life and do what's best for you and your dog, and only you can gauge what's best. But in these moments and this trying time, be mindful of your pet's needs, as they can't fend for themselves.

The most important thing to note is that your dog will not be a carrier for the virus, so there is NO NEED to surrender them to a shelter or abandon them elsewhere. This is, unfortunately, happening due to lingering fears. It is unnecessary and uncalled for.

Rocky's Experience With Quarantine

The past couple of months haven't been easy for us. Prior to the quarantine, Rocky was recovering from a torn CCL -- Something we are still working through. So while it was nice to be home 24/7 to monitor his recovery and rehab his leg, we also ran into other issues surrounding his Addison's Disease.

For the first few days that I was home, I had to dose him accordingly to anticipate him being excited, stressed, confused, or anxious. Even still, the excitement actually caused too much stress on his body, which resulted in a bout of Colitis. His bowels were so inflamed that when rocky had to poop, he wasn't able to hold it. He had very loose stools, at times very bad diarrhea, and had an unsettled stomach. It took him nearly two weeks to fall into a proper routine that I even kept as close to normal as possible. He is now feeling great and things are going well. The next challenge for us will be to smoothly transition back to our 'old normal' once things go back to the way they were.

You know your pet best, monitor them closely.

Stay safe out there.

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