Social-distancing means lots of pup-pampering
We’ve all been there. You go to snuggle your pup when you realize she’s smelling less than fresh. And now that we’re staying home with our pets in a worldwide effort to flatten the curve during the coronavirus pandemic, we’re in particularly close quarters with our BooDogs.
So, we’re covering 2 what-to-do’s to keep your dogs comfy and cuddly.
- How to protect yourself and your pup from COVID-19.
- At-home tips to keep your pup smelling and feeling fresh.
First off, let’s get something straight: There’s no evidence to show that pets can be infected by COVID-19.
BUT, according to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, “It is possible that a person with COVID-19 could sneeze or otherwise contaminate their pet, and then another individual could touch that animal and contract the disease. Veterinary experts believe the risk for transmission would be low. COVID-19 survives longer on hard, inanimate surfaces (e.g., glass, metal) than on soft surfaces (e.g., fur, cardboard). Nevertheless, animals living with sick individuals should be kept away from other people and animals (quarantined at home), just as people who live with sick individuals must avoid contact with others.”
“Veterinary experts believe the risk for transmission would be low. COVID-19 survives longer on hard, inanimate surfaces (e.g., glass, metal) than on soft surfaces (e.g., fur, cardboard).”
So what can we do to protect ourselves and keep our pets close?
Since there’s no reason to believe or anticipate your pet getting sick, keep the protective measures focused on yourself. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Stay home right now, whether you feel sick or not. Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue you can then dispose of, and avoid touching your face. Full recommendations from the CDC are here.
First line of defense: Groom regularly.
Get out your grooming tools and get brushing.
Dr. William Miller, VMD, DACVD (Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Section of Behavior and Section of Dermatology, Cornell) is a firm believer in brushing for grooming rather than bathing.
Per a recent article in DogWatch Magazine, he says, “the brushing removes dirt and loose hair, which is all that most dogs need.”
If you have a long-haired pup, start toward the end and brush downwards to gently detangle. Once you’ve cleared the coat of knots and debris, you can apply more pressure to fully make contact with your dog’s skin. That’s when the magic really happens, for both long and short coats. Plus, this is your chance to discover what amount of pressure your dog enjoys, to inspect your pup for lumps and bumps, and to have one-on-one bonding time.
Pro-tip: If your pup has long hair, brush a second round in the opposite direction. You may find a few hidden knots to work out, and your BooDog will enjoy that coveted voluminous hair we all love. For short hair, be sure to use the appropriate type of grooming tool, like a brush with short, course bristles.
Now, it’s time to condition. You can extend the life of a professional grooming or at-home bath by occasionally applying coat conditioners. They’ll freshen the smell of your dog’s coat, and they’ll improve the texture of the hair, too.
For dirty paws and potty messes, consider using fragrance-free baby wipes for sensitive skin. Yep, vets recommend keeping a stash for moments when BooDog tracks through mud or needs an extra wipe after using the potty.
Bonus: keeping your dog groomed keeps the house clean, too. Though we know you’re reaching for your vacuum on the daily. We do too.
A full bath is recommended when your dog has:
- Rolled in something vile/dead/disgusting outdoors
- Had a bathroom accident that stuck to his/her body
- Has shown clear signs of fleas (AKA: you’ve seen them yourself. Here’s how to check for fleas)
- It’s been a couple months and regular grooming no longer results in a soft, fresh feeling
Now, get off your computer and go snuggle that pup. And stay tuned for more tips for feeling fabulous with your BooDog while we’re staying home to flatten the curve, and beyond.
– Jocelyn, Founder