COVID-19 is unnerving for most humans, but it can be particularly worrisome and confusing for pet owners. Unfortunately, science doesn't have all the answers yet about how this pandemic may affect some of the sweetest and most loved members of your family. Still, there are ways of protecting your cat, dog or other four-legged BFF from this and other health threats.
Maintain Your Pet's General Health
Any compromise to a pet's health, such as being overweight and having diabetes, could put the animal at greater risk for nearly any other conditions, the same way it would for you. It's important to maintain your cat or dog's weight and overall health by making sure they're fed well, get plenty of exercise and annual checkups. Being in optimal health means they're better prepared for if or when they do become ill.
Keep Your Pet Current With All Vaccinations
While a vaccination for a virus that isn't COVID-19, such as the adenovirus vaccine, won't protect your animal against the corona virus itself, if your beloved pet has a strong immune system, they're more likely to be able to fight other viruses off, including COVID-19. While scientists aren't fully aware of the how and why of corona infections in pets, they do know that every pet who's fully vaccinated has a better chance of avoiding other, unrelated health conditions. Thus, your pet doesn't simply need vaccinations for the specific ailments covered in those shots, but to keep their immune system ready to battle anything.
Apply Social Distancing Tactics To Your Pets With Other Animals
Dogs, obviously, can't remain indoors all the time; however, you can, to the best of your ability, avoid other dogs while you're out with yours. If your dog pulls a typical canine "meet and greet" with another, they're going to exchange personal fluids that could carry germs and viruses. Since cats don't require walks and potty-breaks, keep any of those inside to prevent possible exposure to contagions. Do your best to manage social distancing procedures when you are out with your pets.
Practice Good Hygiene With Your Animals
Although your pet won't complain if you don't cover your mouth with your elbow when you sneeze, the way a fellow human probably would, it's still not a good idea to treat pets any differently than people when it comes to germs from sneezes and coughs. Simply turn your head away from your fuzzy friends when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands, prior to petting them. Since science isn't sure about humans catching COVID-19 from animals yet, it's better for you, too, to avoid getting too close to the beloved wet noses in your home, no matter how cute they are. Don't let your pet lick you, either, if they're in the habit of doing so.
Protect Yourself To Protect Your Pets
If you and others in your family are cautious, following CDC advisories and your pets aren't going outside and mingling with other animals, everyone should be relatively safe. On the other hand, if you take risks, then get close to your animals, they might be at risk. With so many unknowns surrounding COVID-19, including how it affects pets, everyone is better playing it safe.
If you're not certain about anything related to COVID-19, other viruses, the full vaccination schedule or any other medical matter for your pet(s), call your local animal hospital, to get the answers you need to keep them, along with everyone else in the family, as healthy as possible.
To learn more regarding pet vaccinations, contact Apple Valley Animal Hospital.