Pets have been shown to improve the overall wellbeing of their owners, helping to reduce stress and alleviate feelings of loneliness or depression during trying times. And in the age of "sheltering in place" during the COVID-19 pandemic, these are certainly trying times for most of us.
In addition to stress relief and companionship that comes with dog ownership, interacting with your furry friend each day can also provide a significant boost to humans, helping to decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.
Likewise, regular exercise with your dog will help compensate for the changes to their familiar daily routine, and work toward maintaining their overall health. In the absence of their routine and socializing with other dogs at the park, canines can easily become sedentary, lethargic, and overweight. Keeping your dog stimulated and active is important to its wellbeing, while we await the reopening of the larger open spaces they love.
If you're concerned about potential exposure to coronavirus from your dog, rest assured: petting your dog's fur is a low-risk practice. Dogs do have the ability to contract coronaviruses, but presently the CDC does not believe COVID-19 is a danger to canines. Furthermore, there is no indication that dogs — or any other pet — can transmit coronavirus to humans, according to the World Health Organization.
In fact, pet affection is highly encouraged to reassure your dog that everything is ok! According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, "We're not overly concerned about people contracting COVID-19 through contact with dogs and cats," AVMA Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Gail Golab told The Washington Post.
Dr. Golab reiterated that "the virus survives best on smooth surfaces, such as countertops and doorknobs," and that "porous materials, such as pet fur, tend to absorb and trap pathogens, making it harder to contact them through touch." This is a good time to polish up on your effective disinfecting tips as well, because improper use of disinfectants may simply be spreading dangerous germs around rather than killing them.
This leads to another important point: dogs are sensitive to the moods of people around them. Allowing yourself to stress too much over the isolation or 24-hour news cycles can have mental health detriments not just for yourself, but for your dog as well. In addition to pet affection, you can help reduce anxiety and stress with a daily regimen of deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, which can have a calming effect and yield mental health benefits for both you and your dog.
It's also important to look out for our furry friends through preventative measures. Make sure your pooch's medical records, vaccines and preventative medications for fleas, parasites, and ticks are up to date. If a sudden change occurs in your household and your pet needs boarding, you will need to have all their paperwork up to date.
Additionally, if your pup has an accident in the house, you want to take care of it without harmful chemicals. Use Simple Green Bio Dog to safely eliminate stains & odors, with an orally non-toxic formula that won't harm your dog. Likewise, if your pooch does its business outside, Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator is great for eliminating odors at the source without hurting your pets, lawn or landscaping.
Getting rid of stains and eliminating odors at the source takes more than the average home-remedy solution, and you won't get the job done with just any cleaning product. Simple Green Bio Dog Stain & Odor Remover safely eliminates tough stains and unpleasant odors from urine, feces, vomit, and more. It's great for use on porous surfaces such as carpet, rugs, pet bedding, upholstery, and even clothing. The orally non-toxic formula contains natural enzymes and benign bacteria that penetrate surfaces to break down and digest waste at the source, which discourages revisiting and remarking.