Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe that there is a very low risk of pets contracting (or spreading) COVID-19, it can still be a good idea to practice social distancing for your pet as well. In the grand scheme of things, there have been very few animals around the world that have tested positive for the virus, and scientists do not believe that pets can spread the disease to humans. However, this is a new strain of the coronavirus, and there is not a significant amount of research available yet, so it is better to be safe.
Here’s how you can do your part when it comes to social distancing with your dog or cat:
Use a leash. Keep your dog on a leash when outdoors so you have control of where they go and who they come in contact with. When going on walks, stay at least six feet away from others and do not let neighbors (or strangers) pet your dog. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, do your best to keep them inside.
Avoid people who are sick. Just as you want to keep yourself and your family away from people who may be ill, keep your pets away too. If someone in your family is quarantined, that means keeping animals separated as well. This can be tough because it’s comforting to curl up with a furry friend when not feeling well, but you don’t want to take any chances. Wait to reintroduce them until the person has been symptom-free for several days.
Skip the dog park. If you’re headed outside with your dog, try to find somewhere that is not crowded with people. Go for a hike where you can spread out, or walk through your neighborhood instead of a busy park. Avoid dog parks as well for now where pets are running off leash and interacting with many people that you don’t know and are not sure of where they have been or how they are feeling.
Take advantage of limited contact or curbside services. Many boarding facilities and dog groomers are considered essential businesses, so they are still open and providing services. Ask about what practices they have put in place to keep humans and animals alike safe. For instance, Lake Wylie Pet Resort is offering grooming by appointment only, and clients are asked to pass their dog off via leash just inside the lobby, or at the curbside, depending on their preference. You can still keep your dog looking its best while practicing safe social distancing and supporting local businesses.
Talk to your vet. If someone in your home tests positive (or presumptive positive) for COVID-19 and you believe your pet may be infected, call your veterinarian. Let them know your dog or cat’s symptoms and find out what they recommend as far as care. Call first before showing up, unless it is an emergency. But as mentioned previously, the risk to pets is very low.
If your dog could use a good bathing and trim, contact Lake Wylie Pet Resort to schedule an appointment. We are happy to help and have protocols in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.