What Dog Owners Should Do During the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Support your local animal shelter financially
|Animal shelters need our help. Consider making a financial donation or call to ask what the most urgent needs are for supplies (such as cleaning supplies).|
For good reason, shelters are likely limiting volunteers and staff right now and the existing workers will be feeling extra pressure to care for the growing number of dogs and cats. The animals are certainly feeling this stress as well.
Many shelters will still be open to adoptions. Some will be closed. Best to call in advance. Only visit the shelter if you intend to adopt. Call ahead, then wait in your car until the staff is ready to process the adoption.
Consider volunteering to foster a dog or cat if you’re able and if there is the need. Again, best to call and ask in advance.
2. Continue to support pet-related businesses
|If you normally use a dog walker, pet sitter or dog daycare, we recommend you cancel all appointments (for now) to decrease the spread of the virus. |
However, you can continue to support dog walkers and dog daycares by:
pre-paying for future appointments
paying for regular service even if you cancel temporarily
buying their gift cards
leaving a tiptext or email to show appreciation
leave positive reviews
You can support dog trainers by:
signing up for their online training classes and seminars
buying their books
sharing their blog articlespre-paying for future classes
asking about training sessions through Skype or Zoom
To support non-profit dog training clubs:
Consider making a donation to keep these organizations running while classes and trials are temporarily canceled. They still have bills to pay for things like rent, heating and supplies.
3. Should you cancel vet appointments?
|We suggest going to the vet only for true emergencies at this time or to pick up urgent supplies. This precaution is to protect the veterinary staff members and others.|
If you have to go to the vet, call ahead and wait in your car until the staff is ready to see your pet vs. sitting in the waiting room area.
4. Stock up on pet food and medications
|We recommend you have a month’s worth of food on hand for your pets as well as medications.|
If you have to go to the pet store for food or litter or to your dog’s vet for supplies, call to ask if they will meet you curbside or if they will deliver.
At Mighty Paw, we are still delivering through our website and Amazon as normal.
5. Continue walking and training your dog
In the U.S., health experts are saying it’s safe to go for a walk, run or hike. Thank goodness! Get out and walk your pup!
|Obviously, our pets will be thrilled many of us are spending more time at home! |
Also, remember that dogs are sensitive to our routines and they can get worried or stressed when we’re acting differently. Try to stick to your typical walking routine, feeding schedule and so on.
If your dog is bored from being cooped up, work on some obedience training, trick training or indoor games like “find it” where you hide treats.
Potential tricks to teach your dog:
Take a bow
Pick up your toys!
Simple agility exercises like jumping over things
“Leave it” / “Take it”
Most of all, we hope you are all staying safe and that you are doing OK. We know times are stressful right now, so make sure to hug your dog! They’re ready to do their most important work – provide stress relief, comfort and a few laughs!