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How to Care for Your Pet During the COVID-19 Quarantine

two women wearing masks walk their dogs outside

There are precautions to take in these strange times of keeping a distance from other people. Pets can be lovely companions when it is safe and necessary to keep a distance from friends and loved ones. Start by consulting with your veterinarian if you have any pressing questions or if there are specific problems that arise with your pet. After that, there are a few steps to take to keep your pet safe and well taken care of even when you aren’t going out, except to take your dog for a walk. This article will cover:

  • Pets and social distancing
  • Keeping clean, both your home and your pet
  • Pet grooming and care from home
Person in a face mask  walking dog
Keeping a safe distance for yourself translates to doing the same with your dog.

Pets and Social Distancing

Keeping a safe distance from other pet owners is important

It may be difficult to stay away from the dog park, for example, when you are used to socializing not only your dog, but also yourself. In these strange and difficult times of social distancing, that means avoiding dogs parks and crowded areas where people would usually congregate with their pets. Dog parks may be closed, but even if they are open, you should avoid them. 

Walking your dog is still necessary, but it is best to prevent other people from petting your dog, and the same goes for you petting others’ dogs. Politely ask others not to pet your dog, and do the same for them. This can be best put into effect if you walk your dog not only in areas where there are less people, but also during times of the day when less people are out and about. One way to continue to take your normal walk is to buy a six foot long leash so dogs can continue to say hello to one another without the owners having to compromise their health. Veterinarians do not recommend retractable leashes because they can get tangled or possibly break if the dog pulls on the leash too hard to visit another dog or chase after a squirrel.

Closeup on the hands of someone washing them, covered in suds
Take the same precautions you would usually take by washing your hands after touching your pet.

Keeping clean, both your home and your pet

Take extra precautions when cleaning your home from pet related messes

To help keep pollen, dirt, and germs out of your house, it is important for cat owners who have indoor/outdoor cats to have them choose one side of the door or the other. As mentioned above, dogs will still need to take multiple walks daily, so there are a few ways to make sure that limited dirt and germs enter your house after walks. Having a pet cleaning station at the door with a doormat to soak up moisture, mud, and dirt will ensure dirty paws will stop before entering the house. Waterless pet shampoo and pet grooming wipes are both essential to wipe down paws and furry coats that may have pollen on them during the springtime. 

Although there is no evidence that pets can transmit COVID-19 to humans, it is still best to take precautions by washing your hands and practicing safe practices. Have dog towels handy to dry your dog after a rainy walk or a quick washing. Wiping down paws is another important way to prevent dirt from being tracked into the house. This is smart to do after a walk or even just a romp around the backyard. Make sure you get in all the crevices and especially wipe the pads thoroughly. Vacuuming is another step to take to prevent unwanted dirt and pollen from accumulating on surfaces of your house.

Taking extra care to clean pet supplies is all the more important since everyone is stuck inside right now. Wash pet beds in extra hot water, and add baking soda to soak up pet odors. Beds with removable covers can make this all the more doable and easy. Deep clean collars and leashes by soaking them in a large bowl or bucket of pet safe shampoo. Clean pet bowls in the dishwasher. Furniture covers are great for spots that pets frequent so they can be easily removed, shaken out, and washed. Deep clean hard pet toys in the dishwasher and soft toys in the washing machine. Changing litter daily and putting some baking soda to reduce odors is a good way to keep it clean. Litter mats outside of each box can prevent cats from tracking litter throughout the house.

Hands washing a dog in a tub
You may have to shift the way you groom your pet to do so from the comfort and safety of your home.

Pet grooming and care from home

A change in how often you leave the house and what grooming shop and vets are open will shift your ability to care for you pet

With veterinarians closed for non-essential services and only open for emergencies, it will mean that you will have to take grooming into your own hands. If you have never groomed your pet before, this may be challenging, but possible. Brush your pet regularly. Bathe as frequently as needed, about once a month, unless your dog is very active and gets unusually dirty.

Another reason you would want to bathe your dog more often is if it has skin issues and your vet has recommended a more frequent bathing schedule. Keep pets on their current heartworm, flea, and tick prevention to be sure to prevent internal and external parasites. Clean your pets’ ears weekly and brush their teeth three times per week. Also, keep under eye areas clear.

Keeping your pet safe during the COVID-19 pandemic can be a shift in the way you have been caring for your pet before, from changing your walking routine to grooming your pet from home. It can be difficult to get used to, but it is important to help keep you and your pet well.

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