Learning how to prepare your dog for coronavirus is different than prepping for other SHTF emergencies because there are a lot of unknown factors.
There is no visible danger, so it is easy to let your guard down and get infected. Luckily, many studies have shown that there is no evidence of human to dog infection. OiE (World Organization for Animal Health) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) state on their websites that there is no virus transmission between humans and animals.
Remember that COVID-19 is a novel virus. It is still being researched and continuously tested. No vaccine has been produced so far. Try to stay informed about the latest research breakthroughs. Regularly visit the websites of the World Health Organization, OiE, CDC, ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and your local vet’s. Take all known precautions to keep each member of your family safe – dogs included, naturally.
How to keep your dog safe during coronavirus pandemic?
1. If you are working from home.
Things have changed a little for you. You are spending time easily at home now because you have learned how to deal with stress. But, you are also trying to hold onto your old way of life — going for a jog in the morning, going to the shops, meeting friends, and playing with your neighbor’s dog.
Beware! Due to the very fact that we don’t know much about the coronavirus, and the fact that it could be mutating, everybody should be extra cautious. Prepare yourself and, above all, prepare your dog for coronavirus.
Don’t take your dog outside when you don’t have to. You have to change your habits, adapt. Don’t take your dog everywhere with you like you used to. You can’t go together for a coffee anymore or to the shops. Minimize contact with others.
When you are outside, stay away from other people as well as their pets. When you go out for a walk with your dog, you may encounter your friends or neighbors. Try to avoid any contact; don’t allow petting, or playing. Also, remember to comfort your dog if he/she is sad when you skip the dog park. You can play later, at home.
Take hygiene extra seriously. Wash hands when you return home. Wash hands before preparing food for your dog, as well as after.
Avoid excessive contact with your dog like kissing or licking.
Minimize socializing, especially inviting other people over to your house. It is especially difficult to stay away from other family members, but try to call them or Skype.
In case you suspect contact with coronavirus – shampoo your dog to get the virus out of the fur. To be on the safe side, bath your dog more often. Don’t forget about yourself — wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
2. In the case of self-quarantine.
One look at what’s happening around the globe was enough to make you bug in. People are in self-isolation everywhere you look. If you turn on the news from Brazil, Russia, Japan, or Australia, it is the same horrid situation everywhere. It is painfully clear that we can’t outrun the virus, and the safest bet is to stay put.
On the plus side, finding work from home has never been easier. Here are some tips on easy online jobs that can help anybody.
This means that you have decided to stay at home, with very little outside contact. It means very limited outings to the shops, or anywhere. Preparing for your family means also you can’t forget to prepare your dog for coronavirus. Besides getting enough food, and supplies for your family, and maybe making pemmican, you should stockpile food for your dog. Think about what he needs and triple the amount you will buy. Get plenty of treats and new toys to keep your dog entertained. If your dog uses any medicine, get that in advance. Prepping your dog for an emergency isn’t easy, so start early.
In case of bugging in, you may decide to re-train your dog to pee inside. According to the NY Times, among other things, for peeing inside you can use fake grass. Of course, you should protect the floor beneath and clean well afterward. Good hygiene is of top priority when cooped up inside.
If your dog is in lockdown with you, in a small apartment, he may become restless, with no outlet for excess energy. Even if they went out for shorter walks before, they certainly miss going outside. Play with your dog more than usual. My friend recommended a great toy for dogs that will keep them entertained for hours. Think of creative ways to entertain your dog. Maybe you can finally teach them a trick or two, and they will certainly be enthusiastic to do anything to spend time with you or earn a treat.
This is a whole operation that involves a lot of prior planning. If you are planning to move to another location with your dog, you have to plan and stockpile supplies for him/her, just like for yourself.
In case you are not sure what your pet needs for a month, or three, you can track everything over the course of one month. Write down everything your dog consumes and uses — food, treats, toys, medicine, poo bags, raincoat, tick extractor, etc. Everything that your dog uses at home, he will need at any other location.
He will need water and food bowls, his bed, and blanket, so try to write everything down and bring those things with you. If your pet has a hard time during the trip or adjusting to the new location, ask your vet to give you calming (herbal) pills. Before the trip, make sure your pet is vaccinated, microchipped, with an ID tag, and in good health.
3. In case you are infected and staying home.
If you have mild symptoms of coronavirus, you are safer at home than in the hospital. While you are getting better, and you will soon, try to avoid any social contact — with other family members, as well as animals.
You should wear a mask, wash hands, and be careful overall.
To minimize the risk of infection, members of your household should be in quarantine, too. This in turn means your dog has to stay inside as well.
To be on the safe side, you can get tested and monitor your health with the help of qualified health professionals.
If you are worried about your dog’s health, always check with your vet for any coronavirus related questions. Make sure to call in first. Don’t rush into a full vet office and risk infection.
4. In the case of hospitalization.
In case of your hospitalization.
You have to find an emergency caregiver for your dog. This can be a member of your family, a neighbor who loves dogs, or a family friend who knows your dog and lives nearby.
This must be a person you can completely rely on for an indefinite time because you don’t know how long you will be gone. That person could take care of your dog in your home or take the dog to theirs. In any case, you should write down clear instructions/manuals of your dog’s needs, habits, likes, dislikes, vet contacts, and medical history. You should prepare his food, bed, toys, poo bags, etc. Your dog should have a collar, with ID tags with up to date contact information.
In case your dog needs hospitalization.
Just like with any hospitalization, this is a traumatic experience for the dog and the dog owners alike. During the coronavirus epidemic, monitor your dog’s health more closely, so you can react immediately if you see a change. I wouldn’t advise rushing into the vet’s office for minor injuries like a scratch, an inflamed eye, or upset stomach, because there is a chance of catching coronavirus there, among other patients. If you can, prepare yourself for minor medical emergencies, so you can avoid a much bigger threat. Although there is no evidence of virus transmission from people to dogs, play it safe.
The year 2020 has surprised even the best of preppers.
My advice is to think like an optimist, but prep like a pessimist.
Start prepping now for the worst-case scenario — in case of your absence, make sure your dog will be well taken care of.
Prepare for him/her like any other member of the family. Stockpile dog food, supplies, and medicine.
Being extra cautious makes you and your dog less susceptible to any new virus. Play it safe, adjust your lifestyle to new circumstances. Just like people, dogs should avoid social contact.
This pandemic showed everyone the importance of being in good health in general. If you get infected, your symptoms will be mild and you will get well sooner than others.