Adopting a Pet During COVID-19? 13 Things to Do First
Pet adoptions are surging during the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s no wonder why: As families stay home to practice social distancing, many are realizing now is the perfect time to add a pet to the household.
But while the pandemic is temporary, a new pet is a long-term commitment. If you’re considering adopting a pet right now, here’s what you need to do first.
1. Ask yourself these eight questions before adopting a pet. 2. Get help choosing the right pet for your family’s lifestyle. 3. Understand the ins and outs of adopting a shelter pet. 4. Make a checklist of all the supplies you’ll need for your new pet. 5. Get essential training tips for first-time dog owners. 6. Learn the basics of grooming your new pet. 7. Buy a vacuum cleaner that can keep up with pet hair. 8. Find out how to deal with pesky house accidents and eliminate odor. 9. Make your backyard dog-friendly (and cat-friendly too!) 10. Decide if you’ll hire a dog walker. 11. Learn what to look for in a veterinarian. 12. Read up on the benefits of spaying or neutering your pet. 13. Understand how to keep your pet healthy for life.
Even if you decide now isn’t the right time to adopt, there’s still a way you can help pets and find companionship: fostering! Fostering saves lives and helps animal shelters during this difficult time. It’s also a great way to test out pet ownership to see if adding a four-legged family member is right for you! Reach out to your local animal shelter to find out what they’re
TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Nadia, a tiger at New York City’s Bronx Zoo, tested positive for the coronavirus. A few pet cats in the United States (and maybe one dog) have, too.
And since the novel coronavirus causing the current pandemic is thought to have originated at a live animal market in China, some people have wondered if they need to worry about their own pets.
The good news is that any risk to humans from Fluffy or Fido is very low, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bad news? Humans with COVID-19 infections could pose a slight risk to certain animals, such as cats or ferrets., but not dogs
“There have really only been a handful of known domestic animal infections in the entire world,” said Dr. John Howe, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“There are reports of a few cats in China and two dogs tested positive there, too,” Howe said. Several cats in the United States have also been diagnosed with the virus. Howe added that the animals all had minor symptoms.
And in one case — the first reported infection in a dog in the United States — Howe said he’s not convinced the dog even had any symptoms.
“It’s doubtful the dog [a pug] — was even ill. Pugs have upper respiratory problems anyway. It’s very easy for the test to pick up the presence of the virus in a dog’s mouth, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the dog was infected. The dog could have licked up the virus from any of the people in the household,” Howe explained.
Winston, the pug, was living with a family of four in North Carolina. One family member admitted that the pug was allowed to lick from the family’s plates. In a study at Duke University, three family members and Winston tested positive, according to news reports.
“A daughter, another dog and a cat didn’t test positive,” Howe said.
Not all animals are safe from COVID-19, however. Besides 4-year-old Nadia, four tigers and three lions at the Bronx Zoo reportedly contracted COVID. But leopards, cheetahs and cougars don’t seem to be susceptible, Howe said.
He said there was a report that Dutch workers on a mink farm transmitted the infection to the animals. And, Howe said, ferrets seem susceptible to the infection.
“There has been no evidence yet of people getting COVID from any domestic animal. Coronavirus is no reason to abandon your pets,” Howe said.
While it may be a relief to learn your pooch or feline probably can’t get you sick, there are still precautions you should take, particularly if you have a COVID-19 infection.
If you feel OK and take your dog out for a stroll, it’s important to practice social distancing guidelines, the CDC says. Keep your dog 6 feet from other people and animals. Try to keep your dog from interacting with other people or animals.
Howe said now is definitely not the time to walk your dog using a long, expandable leash. He and the CDC said dog parks are out for now, too.
The CDC says it’s ideal to keep cats indoors to prevent them from interacting with other people or animals.
What if someone pets your dog or cat?
Howe said pet hair tends to be porous and would likely trap virus particles. That means even if someone had virus particles on their hand when they touched your pet, you probably wouldn’t catch the virus by petting your animal, too.
Still, it’s a good idea to wipe the area with soap and water, or bathe your pet, if possible, Howe said. But never use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your pets, because they might lick it off, Howe said.
If you get sick with COVID-19, have another member of your household take over the pet care, if possible, the CDC says. Try to avoid contact with your pet as much as you can. This means no petting, snuggles, licks or sharing food or bedding with your furry pal while you’re sick.
“Just like you would with a child, try to have someone else take care of your pet, but if you have to, make sure you wear a mask around your pet,” Howe said.
The CDC also recommends washing your hands before and after interacting with your pet.
If you’ve been sick and then your pet seems ill, call your vet for advice.
5 Tips for Seniors Seeking Pet-Friendly Assisted Living
James Hall Senior Care Fitness
Helping seniors live their best lives… because age is nothing but a number.
It can be difficult for seniors and their loved ones to make a decision about moving into an assisted living facility. Before relocating, there are lots of variables to consider, like cost, amenities provided, and the quality of care in different facilities. And some seniors may find themselves facing a dilemma when it’s finally time to move into assisted living: What will they do with their pets?
Senior pet owners should know that they don’t
have to rehome their pets if they decide to move into an assisted living
facility. While not all assisted living facilities accept pets, there are
plenty that do. Here’s how to find a community that can be a home for both you
and your pet.
Naturally, you’re thinking about finding a
facility where your pet can accompany you, but before you start your research,
you need to consider your personal needs. What kind of medical care will you
need? Which amenities and services will be essential for
you? How much can you afford to spend on fees every month? Once you’ve figured
out the answers to these important questions, it’s time to start looking into
Now that you know exactly what you need in an
assisted living facility, you can start looking for pet-friendly communities
that fit all your other requirements. It helps to begin your initial search by
asking your loved ones and members of any community groups you belong to for
suggestions, but you should also feel free to use the internet to look up
facilities in your area. Check out their websites to see if they have any
specific policies in regards to pet ownership.
You might have your heart set on a certain
community, but you won’t know if it’s the right fit for you until you visit in
person. In fact, it’s best to tour a few different facilities before choosing
one. Sixty and Me recommends asking the staff about
the medical services the facility provides, whether you would have a shared or
private room, and what kind of activities the residents can partake in. You
should also ask about any pet amenities, such as open spaces for them to walk
and play in. And don’t forget to ask about any pet ownership fees and breed
Your Space Clean
Once you arrive in your new community with
your pet, you’ll both need to get used to some new routines, and regularly
cleaning your space will have to be a priority. You’ll also want to take extra
steps to prevent your pet from getting fleas. Introducing fleas into an assisted
living community could be a serious health issue for residents.
If you have a dog, applying flea medication is
one way to keep your pet healthy and protected. However, you’ll want to research
the health risks and side effects of any flea medication you choose, as some
can pose hazards to pets and humans. It’s important to select a medication that
is both effective and safe.
Chances are that your pet is a little bit intimidated with so many strangers around, so
it’s your job to help them relax and make friends! As you help your pet get
into a predictable daily routine in their new home, you should also try to
introduce them to new people in a manner that makes them feel comfortable. The Spruce suggests telling visitors to ignore
your pet when they enter your space and allowing your pet to go up to them when
they feel at ease. Give them treats to reward them for positive interactions.
Selecting an assisted living facility is a
very important decision. And if you’re a senior who also happens to be a pet
owner, it’s perfectly understandable that you would want to bring your animal
companion along with you. By touring multiple facilities and asking the right
questions, you can find a new home in a community where your pet will be
Are you and Fido ready to hit the road and make some memories? Adventures with a beloved canine companion can quickly go downhill without preparation. Here’s how to ensure you and your pooch will not only have the best of times, you won’t overspend in the process.
to Ease Travel
A few well-chosen accessories can go a long
way toward ensuring you and your dog stay comfortable and safe throughout your
travels. There are bowls specially designed to collapse so meals
and storage are easy-breezy, and car seat covers to protect your vehicle from
hair, muddy paws, slobber, and any unexpected accidents.
When it comes to keeping your sidekick in his
seat, choose a restraint that is fitting for your dog’s size
and personality type. If you have a small dog who isn’t overly active, a
booster seat or safety harness could be perfect. Bigger dogs can also enjoy the
freedom and safety of a harness, and active dogs can benefit from a carrier or
For the accessories you and Fido need, stretch
your travel budget by shopping online and using offers such as Ebates
coupons and discount codes from your favorite retailers. You can
apply the funds you save toward your and your dog’s fun.
to Go, Things to Do
Strange as it is to some of us, there are
places that don’t welcome dogs. With that in mind, long before you pack Fido’s
bags, do some research to ensure you and your pooch are heading somewhere
you’ll both enjoy. And for those times you need to leave your dog alone, make
arrangements for a trustworthy pet sitter to take care of your traveling companion. It’ll
ease your mind knowing someone is tending him, rather than worrying that he’s
There are dog-friendly destinations far and
wide for nearly anything that suits your fancy. If ocean waves, sands, and
seagulls beckon, Travel + Leisure notes there are some outstanding dog-friendly beaches, such as the dog beach in
Florida’s Fort Myers, Jekyll Island Beach in Georgia, and Topsail Beach in
North Carolina. Exploring national parks can be big fun as well, but
make sure you do some checking because some are more dog-friendly than others.
More in the mood for urban adventures? Look to cities like Chicago, Seattle, or Denver.
Finding places that encourage your pooch to be himself will ensure you make the
most of every moment.
When booking lodging, make reservations with
pet-friendly hotels or vacation rentals. Websites like Expedia make it super
simple to find the accommodations you want since you can search by
pet-friendliness, and on top of that, joining their rewards
program can stretch your budget.
You might be surprised to learn you don’t need
to do all the driving when you reach your destination. You can save money by
using public transportation in many locations; just
verify restrictions before you and your pooch climb aboard, since some systems
require a carrier.
Along those same lines, it’s important to be
conscientious of other travelers throughout your journey. If you and your dog
are planning potentially muddy outings, like to a dog
park or on hiking trails, bring along a paw washing device to tidy
up before you hop into a bus, board a train, or re-enter your hotel. For
example, the Dexas Mudbuster is small, convenient, and
affordable, and you can explore their current offers
to make the most of your money.
Of course, throughout your travels, you’ll
want to clean up after your dog, so have a plan in place for dealing with
waste. An economical solution is the GoGo Stik — it’s a clean, durable, efficient
design, convenient to operate, and you can use any style bag so there is just
the one-time purchase — all topped off with a money-back guarantee.
Planning a getaway with your dog needn’t be
complex or expensive. Accessorize appropriately, make arrangements in
dog-friendly places, and grab a few gadgets to make comings and goings a
breeze. With these smart strategies, you and your best friend will have a
Here is an outstanding article on this subject from Karin Brulliard is a national reporter who runs the Animalia blog. Previously, she was an international news editor; a foreign correspondent in South Africa, Pakistan and Israel; and a local reporter.
The British Veterinary Association, which represents thousands of practitioners in the United Kingdom, felt compelled to hop onto Twitter last week to issue a notable statement: “There’s currently no reliable scientific evidence to indicate autism in dogs (or its link to vaccines),” the group wrote.
The tweet came in response to a widely condemned call-out from the television show “Good Morning Britain” for interviews with pet owners who believe their dogs developed “canine autism” as a result of vaccines or who refuse routine shots over worries about side effects. But the association also suggested its response had roots across the Atlantic: “We are aware of an increase in anti-vaccination pet owners in the U.S.,” it said, “who have voiced concerns that vaccinations may lead to their dogs developing autism-like behavior.”
Has the anti-vaccine movement, which has fueled measles outbreaks in recent years, spread to American pets?
Not exactly, according to major veterinary groups in this country. John de Jong, a Boston-area veterinarian and incoming president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, said his organization firmly agrees with its British counterpart: There’s no evidence for autism in dogs or any link to vaccines — a theory that has been thoroughly discredited in humans. But he also said he has never been asked by a client about this notion, nor does he know of other veterinarians who have.
Heather Loenser, a senior veterinary officer with the American Animal Hospital Association, echoed that.
“I have never had a client voice that concern,” Loenser, who practices in New Jersey, wrote in an email, adding that she has only “seen it pop up on social media from time to time.”
No one tracks pet vaccination rates. That said, both Loenser and de Jong said they’ve seen small increases in clients who question the necessity or frequency of pet vaccinations. De Jong said some are influenced by breeders who tell buyers to wait on shots until after a dog has produced litters, while others express a vaguer skepticism about possible side effects.
More generally, he said, the doubts are reflective of a pet “humanization” trend that has driven a surge in organic and grain-free pet food sales, expensive and invasive end-of-life care, and doggy fitness centers.
“It’s fair to say that a lot of what we see in veterinary medicine seems to follow the curve of what’s popular in human medicine,” de Jong said. “The human-animal bond is at an all-time high, and people consider their pets as extended members of the family.”
The rabies vaccine is required by law for dogs and cats in most states. Other “core” vaccines, including those for distemper and parvovirus in dogs, are strongly recommended. They have been highly effective, veterinarians point out. Rabies has been eradicated in domestic canines, and distemper is extremely rare. De Jong said he treated dogs with parvovirus as a veterinary student in the early 1980s but now seldom sees it.
“If you take a look at the general health and longevity of both animals and people in society today, we have longer and healthier lives due to preventive medications, preventive health care, good diets and vaccines,” he said.
Vaccines can have minor side effects like swelling and very rarely more serious ones. And although pets typically are offered a series of immunizations, pet owners can discuss with their veterinarians which ones, other than rabies, are critical. A cat living in a high-rise condo, for example, might not need a vaccine for leukemia, de Jong said.
“Many of our North American colleagues believe, as I do, that vaccines should be tailored to the individual pet based on the animal’s risk factors and lifestyle,” said Loenser, whose organization offers an online “lifestyle-based vaccine calculator” to help guide owners’ conversations with their vets.
While de Jong said the veterinary association has detected no major cause for alarm about anti-vaccination-driven outbreaks in pets, he emphasized how much he hopes the idea doesn’t spread. Many diseases against which pets are immunized, such as rabies, can infect both animals and people.
“Widespread use of vaccines has prevented death and disease in millions and millions of animals,” he said. “The benefits far outweigh the risks, by a mile.”
Dear GoGo Stik,
Wanted to let you know about another application for the scooper. It has worked well in cleaning up after two dogs in the back yard for the past year, I appreciate the no-hassle cleanup. My Vet recently asked for a three day first AM urine sample from our older pet as he is diagnosing a possible kidney issue. I thought about the best way to get the sample from our short female dog and knew it would not be easy or clean.
The GoGo Stik immediately came to mind. With the addition of a zip-loc bag, I was able to get my sample by simply holding the open bag under her to catch the stream without disruption, mess, or upsetting her during her first morning tinkle. Great adaptation of a very useful tool. Kacey has been cleared of any kidney issues and we owe you a “thanks” for making our part of the diagnostic process a breeze.
We know that your dog is a special member of your family, With that in mind, we want our blog to reflect the special place the hold in your home. This means sharing news, recipes, tips and tricks to help you care for your all of your family.
This week, that includes a recipe we found for homemade Pumpkin Spice Dog Biscuits. We know this time of year, pumpkin spice everything comes on the market. Because not all of the pet treats you find in the store are the healthiest option for your pet, we will share with you a way to treat your pet and feel good about it.
Pumpkin Spice Dog Biscuts:
Recipe type: Doggie Treats
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour
We hope your dog loves it as much as ours did.
A healthy, yummy treat for your best friend!
2½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a stand mixer, mix together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon
Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff.
Roll the dough into a ½-inch-thick roll. Cut into ½-inch pieces.
Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.
The author of this recipe states on her blog, that she developed it after finding that the dog treats in her cupboards, did not pass muster. She shared this and it looked so dare we say yummy, we wanted to share it with you.
Do you have an emergency dog care check list? Many of you know that your family is ready, but have you stopped to think if you are ready for your pet too?
Our dogs are such important members of our families. We have been watching the news stories about the fires out west and hearing about a strong hurricane season.
This can add up to some very concerned pet owners trying to figure out how to prepare everyone in the house for an emergency. To help you do this, we have put together an emergency preparedness check list.
Feel free to download the pdf or print this out.