Pet Social Distancing
- What is Pet Social Distancing?
Pet Social Distancing is a precaution to minimize the spread of any virus but specifically COVID-19 at this time. The same social distancing measures taken when you are out in public should be applied to your pets as well. The CDC recommendation keeping 6-10 feet between yourself and other people applies to your pet too! Doing so is helpful in reducing exposure to a virus like COVID-19 that is transmitted through large droplets being released through sneezing, coughing and even talking. Your cat and/or dog has to be viewed as a surface that the virus can live on. At this time, it is better to err on the side of caution and avoid crowded places when you are out with your pet. And yes, you can still pet, play with and cuddle your pet. Frequent hand washing is always advised. Below are some specific precautions to take for both dogs and cats.
Pet Social Distancing with Dogs
Going out on runs and walks with your dog is perfectly fine and encouraged, as long as it’s done right. When going outside with your dog, make sure you are six to ten feet apart from any other animal or person. Dogs should be kept on a leash and make sure to watch them closely. Just as you shouldn’t be shaking hands with anyone during this pandemic, you should also not be allowing people to pet your dog. This happens to be almost the same risk as shaking a stranger’s hand that could be infected. Do not take your dog to a dog park unless you can maintain the 6 foot distance. Avoid any type of crowded place and refrain from taking your dog shopping with you at your local pet retailer. You may want to increase the frequency of bathing your dog. Just ensure you are using a very gentle shampoo formulated specifically for dogs and rinse thoroughly.
Pet Social Distancing with Cats
Pet Social distancing with cats is different. If you have an indoor only cat, then there is very little to be concerned about. As a precaution, do not let anyone who does not live in the household pet your cat. If however, your cat goes outside either on a leash or roaming freely, there are other concerns. Cats can transmit the COVID-19 to each other. Felines who have contracted Coronavirus have had similar symptoms to humans including breathing trouble, nasal discharge, and vomiting. The best precaution is to keep your feline friend inside at this time. However, that can make for a miserable cat so if your cat must go aside, ensure that you are washing your hands after any petting session. Bathing your cat will remove any virus from the coat but that can be a tall order with cats. A more practical solution is to wipe down your cat with moist wipes specifically formulated for cats each time he/she comes in from outdoors.
Stay Safe Everyone!
Simple measures taken to prevent you and your pet from getting sick can reduce any risk that might be present. The CDC has specific recommendations for pets and other animals. You can review those by clicking here. Be safe and keep your pets safe as well. Any questions? We are here to help!