While there is no evidence that our beloved dogs and cats can pass the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, to humans, they can still get infected.
As of April 2020, there have been 2 confirmed COVID-19 cases in dogs from Hong Kong: a 17-year-old Pomeranian and a 2-year-old German Shepherd. Both dogs were positive but did not show any symptoms. One domestic cat in Hong Kong also tested positive for the coronavirus with no signs of disease. A pet cat in Belgium tested positive too and suffered from respiratory and digestive problems. Fortunately, the cat’s condition has already improved.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. To keep your furkids safe from SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in humans), here’s what you can do to help boost their immune system:
- Keep your pets clean
Good hygiene is crucial during a pandemic. This is why we’re advised to wash our hands always to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This applies to your pet as well. Remember to sanitize their paws at all times, especially after taking walks in public places.
Schedule a regular bath time for your pets. According to an article from PetMD, how often you bathe your dogs will depend on many factors such as health, breed, coat, and activity level. But as a basic rule, you’ll know it’s time for a bath if your dog smells or if he’s covered in dirt or mud.
Cats, on the other hand, can go their entire life without baths if healthy. But baths can actually help remove excess oils, dander, and shed hair. So it’s recommended to bathe your cats frequently every 4 to 6 weeks.
- Exercise regularly
Just like humans, our pets need to get active too! If you can’t take your pet out to walk or play during the COVID-19 lockdown, you can play with your pets indoors instead.
If you’ve got a wide indoor space, you can set up an obstacle course that your dog or cat can jump over to. You can also play hide-and-seek especially if your pet knows basic commands like sit, stay, and come. Or for a quick game, a simple game of fetch with your dog or a cat catcher teaser wand would do the trick.
- Monitor your pet’s health
Ideally, you should be taking your pet to the veterinarian at least twice a year for a check-up. But if you’re stuck at home due to the COVID-19 lockdown, calling your vet about any worries you have can be a big help.
In case you notice any signs of illness in your pet, inform your vet immediately. This way, your vet can plan on how to provide treatment during the lockdown.
- Always clean up after your pet
Take note that even healthy dogs and cats can possibly spread germs or get infected with germs if you’re not careful. Falling ill due to harmful germs can weaken you and your pet’s immune system and can increase the risk of getting the coronavirus.
Be a responsible pet parent and immediately clean up any vomit, urine, or stool in your house. And don’t forget to disinfect the surrounding area thoroughly. You may use normal household cleaners, but if you want a gentler, more pet-friendly disinfectant, you may use a solution of 2-3 drops of dishwashing soap, 3oz white vinegar, and 16oz water. Make sure to wear gloves while cleaning. Afterwards, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any lingering traces of dirt or harmful chemicals.
- Give treats in moderation
While we’re stuck at home with our pets, it can be tempting to pamper them with lots of treats. Make sure that you give treats in moderation. Treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your pet’s total daily meal. If you want to be sure, it’s better to opt for healthy and all-natural treats. Check the labels before buying and look for real ingredients with real health benefits.
- Handle pet items with care
Your pets are family. That’s why you should handle your pet’s bed, towels, bowls, and food with the utmost care. As a general practice, always wash your hands before and after you give them food, just like how you do when you prepare your human family’s meals. Wash their food bowls after every meal and change their drinking water multiple times a day. And don’t forget to clean your pet’s beddings and towels at least once or twice a week.
- Maintain a healthy diet
PetMD says that the stomach contains about 70 percent of the immune system. In other words, your pets are what they eat. So the best way to keep your pet healthy is to feed them healthy, all-natural pet food.
Give your furkids food that you can trust, like Wishbone Pet Foods. Made using fresh ingredients from New Zealand, Wishbone’s recipes are made to provide your pets with complete nutrition needed to stay healthy and strong.
All of Wishbone’s recipes are enriched with taurine for heart health. And with the power of 8 superfoods, you can help boost your pet’s immune system, promote better health, and make our meals appetizing even to finicky eaters.
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