The corona pandemic is currently challenging people – dog owners are also affected and have many questions. We want to clarify and have gathered the most important questions and facts.
Can dogs become infected with the corona virus?
According to the latest information from the Friedrich Löffler Institute (FLI), the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, there is currently no evidence that dogs, cats or even farm animals can become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 (colloquial coronavirus).
Therefore there is no reason to stay away from animals at the moment. However, people who test positive should take special precautions and adhere to basic hygiene recommendations.
This question was speculated when a small amount of the pathogen was detected in a dog in Hong Kong. The dog’s owner was infected with the coronavirus, so it is unclear whether it was actually an active infection or a passive contamination by the amount of virus in the area. Since the dog was “weakly positive” tested on the mouth and nose, it is reasonable to assume that this was caused by contact with the owner. So there is no evidence of infection. The dog showed no symptoms.
Can the coronavirus be transmitted to humans via the dog?
There is currently no scientific evidence for the transmission of the coronavirus from dogs to humans or other pets. Dogs, cats and other pets therefore pose no risk of infection and play no role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2. These are the assessments of the European Center for Disease Control and the WHO.
Accordingly, no dog owner has to be concerned about dealing normally with their own dog. Nevertheless, the stricter hygiene rules still apply, which should also be observed in everyday life with dogs. This includes frequent and thorough hand washing.
Can I still go for a normal walk?
Dog owners who have not tested positive and are not under quarantine at home can walk their dogs in accordance with the applicable regulations. Although there are currently nationwide uniform contact rules, some of the federal states have made further regulations, which is why every citizen should obtain clear statements about their authorities.
For example, the Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion has issued the following exit restrictions (dated March 22, 2020): “Leaving the home without a good reason is prohibited.” However, “essential measures to take care of animals” are considered a valid reason.
Even in countries such as Italy and Spain, where curfews have been imposed, it is still allowed to walk your dog near the house.
The following points should be observed when walking:
- Dog owners should go for a walk in the living area
- Dog owners should have their ID card (or other photo document showing their home address) with them
- When walking, keep enough distance from other people and dogs and avoid direct contact
- Meetings on dog meadows are prohibited
- Wash hands thoroughly after each walk
If you have specific questions, you can contact the responsible health authority.
What do I have to consider when dealing with my dog if I have to be quarantined at home?
If dog owners are in quarantine at home because they suspect or have been diagnosed with an illness, they must not leave the house or apartment. This means that walking the dog is not permitted. Disregard can even result in imprisonment or fines. Dog owners must therefore find other solutions so that the needs of the dog can be met. The following tips can be helpful:
- Agree early with your family and friends or with your neighbors who is willing to go for a walk with your dog in the event of domestic quarantine or to take care of the dog in this phase.
- It is best to make a list of 2 to 3 people so that someone can step in in an emergency.
- If you don’t find anyone in your area who agrees to be a dog sitter, you could find something through Facebook groups, – neighborhood helpers or regional initiatives. In connection with the Corona crisis, several projects and voluntary help have been organized, about which Gassigeher have also reported.
- Give your dog to the dog sitter in your hallway or garden so that you can keep a good distance.
- The dog sitter can bring his own leash and collar. If this is not possible, the dog sitter should first handle the dog’s leash with disposable gloves and disinfect the leash. This leash should then remain with the walker so that the leash does not have to be passed back and forth again and again.
- The dog sitter should refrain from cuddling and petting the dog.
If necessary, it would also be possible to put the dog in a dog boarding house for the quarantine period. However, one should keep in mind that strangers and changing locations can be extremely stressful for the dog. It is therefore worthwhile to take care of a solution that means as little stress for the dog as possible.
Can I still go to the vet with my dog? Are veterinary practices still open?
It is important that dogs and other pets continue to receive medical care in the current situation. To ensure the care, many veterinary practices have changed their processes to keep the risk of infection for the dog owners and the team of veterinarians low. Please note the following points:
- Call your veterinarian before your visit to the vet and inquire about how the vet visits are currently handled.
- Avoid spontaneous visits to the vet. Many practices no longer offer open office hours, but rather appoint appointments.
- In order to maintain a minimum distance, some practices only let patients wait individually in the waiting room, outside in front of the practice or in the car. Please follow the rules of your veterinarian.
- If you have to wait with other people before the practice, keep enough distance and observe the rules of the cough and sneeze etiquette.
- If possible, avoid touching the counter and other items in the vet’s office to protect personnel. Take advantage of the possibilities of hand disinfection, which is provided by many practices in front of the waiting rooms.
- If the visit to the vet is not absolutely necessary, postpone it for a few weeks.
Dog owners do not have to worry at the moment – veterinary care is guaranteed.
Are there corona viruses in dogs and cats?
Corona viruses have long been known in various animal species. However, this is not the SARS-CoV-2, which can be dangerous for humans. For example, Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) can occur in cats and epizootic viral diarrhea in pigs. Dogs can also become infected with coronaviruses (canine coronavirus), which cause diarrhea. However, these viruses are species-specific and pose no danger to humans.
What should I pay attention to when dealing with my dog?
In our post we have already given some tips on how to deal with dog owners with regard to the corona crisis. The Friedrich Löffler Institute recommends: “Confirmed infected people should have close contact with their pets, such as. B. Avoid licking the face by the animals. ”Healthy people do not have to limit contact with their dogs. According to the information currently available, it is also not necessary to hand over the dog or other pets.
Nevertheless, all people should heed the recommended prevention and hygiene measures of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
How can I keep my dog busy at home?
As much as the current situation presents us with challenges, it can be an opportunity to focus more on our loved ones and to offer our four-legged companions more employment. At home there are numerous employment opportunities for our dogs. Here are a few:
- Nose work: hide food in the apartment, lay a food trail, use a sniffing carpet, fill paper rolls or a box with food and let your dog search
- Impulse control training: Here, the dog should first control itself before being allowed to eat or play with it. Examples: Place your dog in the “place” and distribute food around it or let your dog “sit” and roll a few croquettes of food over the floor until it is allowed to eat; throw a toy – first the dog should look at you, walk a piece of “foot” or do a trick until he can get the toy, these exercises can be varied as you like
- consolidate basic commands or learn new commands
- Trickdogging: giving paws, roles, males, turns, jumping over the legs, slalom or around – there are numerous tricks that dogs can learn, a tip: You can get inspiration from dog books or YouTube videos
- Agility at home: even with chairs and blankets, a small course can be set up for the dog, a broomstick can serve as a hurdle
- Use accessories: Intelligence toys, food balls and kings can provide variety – if you don’t have them at home, you can also use everyday objects to keep the dog busy: feed croquettes in crumpled newspaper, hide croquettes under cups or organize a little game – the possibilities are diverse
In our dog blog you will find a detailed article on the topic of dog games for indoors.
Do I have to change the amount of food if my dog now has less exercise?
Since you can still go for a walk with your dog, provided that no home quarantine has been arranged, the amount of movement of the dog should not change so much that an adjustment of the feed ration is necessary.
Also keep in mind the so-called Body Condition Score (BCS).
Accordingly, the dog’s ribs should be palpable and, when viewed from above, a waist should be recognizable. Regular weight control also helps to keep an eye on the ideal weight. If you find that your dog is gaining weight, futalis will be happy to adjust your dog’s ration. To do this, save the current dog data in your customer account or contact our customer service.
Do I have to worry about feeding my dog dog food?
In general, dog owners do not have to be afraid that their dog’s food may run out. Pet stores continue to open. If dog owners get their food from other countries, an inquiry to the manufacturer can be worthwhile in order to eliminate ambiguities.
Even at futalis, dog owners do not have to worry about the needs of their dog. We have taken a variety of measures to ensure the production of our dog food. The great advantage of futalis is that dog owners do not have to leave the house and simply order their food online.
What measures has futalis taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus?
futalis took measures at an early stage to reduce the risk of infection for its own employees and their environment and at the same time to safeguard feed production.
The existing high hygiene measures in our production were tightened and the processes changed. In this way, every dog continues to receive its food in the usual quality and composition. Despite the high order volume, the futalis dog owners do not have to worry about the timely delivery of feed. Our production works with the increased security measures at full speed, so that the feed production is still guaranteed.
The employees in our office are all currently working in the home office. We also decided on this measure at an early stage in order to comply with the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute. Our customer service is therefore still available to dog owners as a competent advisor when it comes to nutrition and can be reached by email. Due to the high volume of messages, we ask our customers to be patient. Furthermore, all messages will be answered as soon as possible.