Over the past few months, most of us have developed new daily routines to help ensure the safety of our families and avoid the spread of germs throughout our homes. For those of us with pets as part of our families, taking extra safety steps and adopting new healthy habits with them is just as important. Here are three new pet routines to incorporate into your daily activities:
1. Protect your home from germs and bacteria your pet can track in – As we’re washing our hands, wiping down groceries and disinfecting surfaces more regularly, your dog is also an added point of contact from the outside world. Dogs who have been outside of the house playing at dog parks, going for strolls with dog walkers, visiting the groomer or the Vet, or even romping in their own yard can pick up germs and bacteria on their paws and fur. Some varieties of bacteria can be transmitted from dogs to humans, so removing those germs before your dog comes back inside is an easy way to avoid potential contact. SaniPet™ from Absorbine® is a pet safe sanitizing antiseptic spray that kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria on dog’s skin, coat and paws within 60 seconds. As another simple routine to help keep your home and family safe, simply spray it on, and either towel dry or let air dry before your dog re-enters your home.
2. Social distancing works for them too. While the likelihood of humans catching illnesses from animals is low, there is evidence that our pets can catch some viruses and strains of influenza and mumps from humans. To safeguard our furry loved ones, the FDA advises that the six-foot rule applies to leashed pets as well as to other people. It is recommended that we pet owners avoid crowded public places and busy dog parks to minimize the potential for transfer of germs and illness. In this article from the LA Times, Julie Castle, chief executive of Best Friends Animal Society stated that the golden rule is to steer clear of other people’s pets. “When you’re walking, keep your distance as you would with humans and refrain from petting other dogs.” We know this is a tough decision for us animal lovers who are conditioned to greet friendly pups. We just need to remember that their health, as well as our own, is more important than that extra pat, no matter how cute they are.
3. Plan ahead in case of illness. Since it now appears that there is a small risk in people spreading viruses to animals, we need to be prepared as to what to do with our pets if we get sick. The CDC advises that people who are sick should avoid contact with pets and other animals. If you become ill, have another member of your household care for your pet if at all possible. This of course may not be an option for those who live alone, so other precautions will be important. Avoid contact with your pet while you are sick, including no petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food or sleeping in the same bed. If you must care for your pet while you are ill, wear a face mask and wash your hands thoroughly before and after interacting.
Adjusting our daily routines is all part of our new normal as we navigate the days ahead.
Marjorie Murray has been around animals every day of her life, and is currently dog mom to Layla, a rescue hound mixed with a whole lot of personality. Marjorie has worked for W.F.Young Inc for four years where she spends her days happily immersed in all things pet. When not at work or on another long walk with Layla, she enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors, hiking, biking, gardening or reading, or in the kitchen baking comfort foods.