So…things are a little strange at the moment.
You can’t go anywhere without hearing about a certain virus. With schools off, and our streets significantly quieter, many of us may be feeling somewhat anxious.
Well, our blog post this week hopes to spread a little bit of positivity regarding the entire situation.
Where do dogs come into the equation when it comes to Covid-19?
Last week there was somewhat of a panic, when a Pomeranian in Hong Kong showed traces of the Coronavirus. People began thinking that dogs (and indeed all pets) could potentially spread the virus, and contact with pets was a risk.
Thankfully, this is not the case, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have stated that “Pets are generally safe from being infected with coronavirus”. The traces of the virus on this Pom were minimal, and unless the virus finds a way to replicate itself in the cells of canines (which is highly unlikely), then transferring the virus from dog to human is doubtful, and that humans are far more likely to pass it on to eachother.
That being said, we should still practice safe hygiene when it comes to our dogs. And as today is the final day of The Big Scoop Campaign, we thought it might be the perfect time to share some responsible dog hygiene.
We seem to be constantly washing our hands at the moment, and we should keep this up. When we rub our dogs, avoid touching our face after (we should be avoiding face touching in general at the moment) and clean our hands before touching food.
When we walk our dogs (more on this later) we must remember to scoop the poop (see our last post), and we must again, wash our hands as soon as we can. It might be a bright idea to bring hand sanitiser with us when we head out. When walking our dogs, you should try to maintain a safe distance from other dog walkers.
If you are in self isolation your dog might get very frustrated without their daily walks. This is understandable, but unfortunately at the moment, safety takes priority.
However, as an alternative, you could play scent games with your dogs.
Scent games are great alternatives to walks, because they get your dog’s brain active, which will tire them just as much as a walk.
Scent game 1: The Box game
Gather a few cardboard boxes, and scatter them across a room. Put your dog out of the room and hide a dog treat in one of the boxes. The smellier the treat the better. Then let your dog into the room, and encourage them to find the treat. Once they’ve found it, put them out, and put a treat in another box. Once they have got the hang of it, you could up the ante, by putting the treat in a box, within another box. Go all Inception, and make it hard for them. Don’t underestimate their noses, it might be challenging, but they will find it in the end, and all that work will be both fun, and exhausting for them.
Scent Game 2: The Magic Cups
We’ve all played a version of this ourselves, using our sight. Well, a dog can play it by using their sight AND smell.
Very simply, you get three (to start with) plastic cups and stand them upside down on the floor (this works better on tiled or wooden floors than carpet). Put a treat under one of them-letting your dog see, but telling them to “Wait”. Then move the cups around a few times and say “come”, letting your pooch find the correct cup. Once they have mastered the three cups, up the ante to four, then five, and see how high you can go.
These activities are safe indoor pursuits that you can enjoy with your dog if you are self-isolating.
If you are not self-isolating, it might be wise to get a big bag of dog food that will last you the next few weeks, just in case.
Take care of each other and remember to stay safe.
Captain Canine's message of Be Dog Smart is a message for the ages!