10 Signs you are not taking Proper Care of Your Pet

Although we are careful about our pet’s daily lifestyle, there are times when they begin showing signs of underlying illness and other borderline mental issues. When you begin noticing your pet showing any unusual signs, this is the time to take immediate action.

Most pet owners aren’t aware that they shouldn’t feed their pets from their plates. The dog or cat’s diet differs from us. They shouldn’t eat everything that we often eat on a daily basis such as garlic, chocolate, oil-based food, etc. This is one of the many cases that go unnoticed by pet owners because for them it seems like the right choice of diet for pets.

Ten Signs you are not taking proper care of your pet

Urban Pet Hospital, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, has compiled a list of ten most common issues that show how taking care of your pet can go wrong.

Obesity

Obesity or overweight is common in many dogs and cats. One of the major reasons for obesity is feeding your pet the wrong food.

According to a study, “Obesity accounted for more than 1.3 million nationwide pet insurance claims in 2016, a 23 percent increase from three years before.”

With an unhealthy diet plan, pets often face large consequences from obesity-related conditions. Your pet’s meal requirements vastly differ from your dietary requirement; hence you must stop feeding them from your plate or prevent overfeeding treats.

Obesity may cause severe diseases and conditions in pets including arthritis, inflammation, diabetes, heart conditions, metabolic and endocrine disorders.

Vitamin D Poisoning

Vitamin D toxicity is common in dogs that are fed food or supplements rich in Vitamin D on a regular basis. Popular food brands contain lots of minerals that are hard to get from food prepared at home; however, these food brands often contain a higher volume of Vitamin D which can lead to poisoning.

The report submitted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) suggests that several popular brands of dog food have 70x the safe levels of Vitamin D which could kill dogs. Although it is rare, it is noteworthy to understand how it can adversely affect your pets.

Pets intoxicated with excessive Vitamin D often show signs of vomiting, weakness, depression, loss of appetite, increased thirst and urination, etc. These are the giveaway signs that you must take your pet to the veterinarian to help diagnose if it has been poisoned with excessive Vitamin D intake.

Along with pet food brands, Vitamin D supplements, Cholecaliciferol based rodenticides, etc are common factors causing Vitamin D toxicity in pets.

Bowel Issues

Bowel issue in dogs is something that often goes unnoticed by pet owners. Commercial food can cause indigestions in many cases. The majority of canine food allergy cases involve a reaction to the protein source, such as chicken, beef, or egg.

Most dogs suffer from a sensitive stomach because of indigestion caused by improper diet due to the intake of a type of protein, insufficient fiber, and excess fat.

The sensitive stomach is known as Gastrointestinal (GI) upset. It is the most common form of digestive issues faced by canines. The early signs of GI upset include intermittent vomiting; loose stools, bloating, and passing excessive gas can be caused by a variety of things.

What are the signs of bowel issues in dogs?

  • Dehydration
  • Painful, distended, or hard belly
  • Retching, trying to vomit, or difficulty defecating
  • The appearance of blood in vomit, urine, or feces
  • Lethargy

Energy Level

Lack of energy or lethargy in dogs is quite rare. If you have noticed, dogs or pups often spend most of their time running around, jumping or foraging. If you find them disinterested in playing and going out for a walk or sitting idle for a long time, then there can be underlying medical problems.

Most of the time, it's the food that you feed them. The diet isn't giving it the proper nutrients it needs. Sometimes switching diet or food brand which doesn't suit its age, breed or temperament also invites lethargy in dogs.

The best things you can do is switch back to their previous diet and contact your nutritionist for assistance.

Behavioral issue

Unlike a popular belief, aggressive behavior in dogs is quite uncommon. It can be a frightening experience when a docile and friendly dog becomes hostile.

According to a recent study, aggression has become the most common and serious behavioral issue among dogs. It’s also the number-one reason why pet parents seek professional help from behaviorists, trainers, and veterinarians.

Some of the major reasons for sudden aggressive behavior in dogs are as follows:

  • Any underlying illness or injury that may be causing pain to dogs that makes them react with fierce to others.
  • When animals are afraid of something, they tend to become aggressive.
  • Possessiveness is a common factor for aggression in dogs which can be caused by their favorite toy, bed, or territory.
  • Although rare, the aggression induced by frustration often leads to problems in dogs.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite in dogs can be sudden, and pet owners often feel confused about it. There are many underlying issues that can cause loss of appetite in animals.

Although it doesn't necessarily indicate serious disease, immediate veterinary attention may be required because it could be a sign of significant illness, including cancer, various systemic infections, pain, liver problems, and kidney failure. Some of the other reasons for loss of appetite are dental problems (broken or lost tooth, gingivitis, etc.), recent vaccination, unfamiliar surroundings, etc.

Odd eating habit

You may sometime notice that your dog skips a meal to two. This isn’t uncommon for a few times, but more than that, it can be a problem. The heat outside can often make dogs lose their appetite, however, it if persists, then you must consult your veterinarian. Two days without eating is a clear sign that your dog needs an examination.

Some diseases cause dogs to develop unusual eating habits such as lime disease, tick infection, internal illness, intestinal worms, etc.

As a pet owner, you must keep a check on these things and keep a stack of necessary medication at home.

Excessive Thirst

It’s common for dogs to drink more water during summer or after a lengthy outdoor visit, however, it is uncommon for dogs to experience excessive thirst or urinate frequently on a regular basis.

Not drinking enough water or failure to urinate can indicate digestive issues. If your dog is drinking and urinating excessively, they could be facing more fatal illnesses such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Diabetes Insipidus (DI) or Water Diabetes is a rare disorder in dogs that affects their water metabolism, preventing the body from conserving water and releasing too much of it. The condition is characterized by frequent or increased urination, dilute urine (Dull urine), and increase the thirst for water.

Grooming

Pet grooming doesn't only enhance your dog's appearance but it also improves its hygiene and prevents infection, hair-matting, discomfort in movement, ear infection, and stress.

The recent study concluded that grooming helps to keep the pets stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

Ensure to keep your pet well-groomed and clean at any season to prevent excessive hair matting or flea/tick infection. The matted hair, untrimmed nails, and germs around the facial area often induce stress in dogs.

Socialization

Dogs are social animals, and they equally enjoy the company of both animals and humans. It’s uncommon for dogs to distance themselves from other humans or animals. If that is the case, they may be facing socialization issues.

Naturally, a dog socializes by interacting with other canines and learning their verbal cues and body language. It’s more common for recently adopted dogs, dogs or pups that have faced harassment, or animals with abandonment issues to offset anti-social behavior

You can easily notice this tendency. It can be normalized by visiting trainers or daycare and by conducting social training skills both in and outside the home

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about the best ways to take care of your pet. Our certified veterinarian and best doggy daycare facility are always ready to help you

Pet Essential that Every Pet Owner should Own

Pet essentials are assorted items that you will need at the beginning, middle, and end of your canine’s journey. They aren’t only items but essentials that make their and your life easier. These are things every pet owner should have on hand at the beginning, middle, and end of their journey with their canine companions.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines, has compiled a list of ten pet essentials that every pet owner should have at home.

  1. ID Tag

Although many say that ID Tags are old school, it is one of the easiest ways to identify a dog and its owner. Like us humans, the pet needs identification in case they are lost, wander off, or fall in some accident. Although microchipping your dog works almost all the time, if they escape or get lost, personal ID tags can help identify them without going through the microchip reading process. ID Tags can ensure to get them home as quickly as possible.

Along with ID Tag, it’s essential to microchip your pet. There are greater advantages to micro-chipping such as during holidays and celebrations where there are many cases of missing pets. Most of these pets are lured into a trap or are distracted. Once the ID tag is removed, it becomes difficult to locate a dog even when they are found by rescue shelters. A microchip can help prevent this by easily identifying the dog.

  1. Pet First Aid Kit

Pet First-Aid Kit is another pet essential that should in your home, car, or office at all times. Owning and being able to use the first-aid kit can prove to be a life-saver! These are the items that should be in the first-aid kit all the time.

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting
  • Ice pack (Replaceable)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Scissors with the blunt end
  • Tweezers
  • OTC antibiotic ointment
  • Oral syringe or turkey baster
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent (for bathing)
  • Towels
  • Small flashlight
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Styptic powder
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear gel
  • Phone number, clinic name, address of your veterinarian

 

  1. Comfortable Harness/Leash/Longline

There has been a debate about harness and leashes for dogs. While it is true that a harness can be more comfortable for your pets compared to a leash, for smaller dogs and pups, leash works best. Most harnesses won’t fit the small-sized dogs unless you make a customized one for them.

Take suggestions from your pet trainer and veterinarian if you should buy a harness or leash for your dog. Longline works best when you take your dog out in the park or near forests. This will prevent it from running off into the forest or bushes and also keeps it away from the reach of coyotes and other wild animals.

  1. Dog Diapers

Dog diapers become essential at different points of time in the life of dogs. While dog diapers are common when they are young or older, some dogs may need dog diapers when they are facing certain medical conditions such as incontinence.

Diapers help to prevent dirt and germs on the floor from entering the urethra and causing a Urinary tract infection in dogs. The thing to keep in mind is that you should change the dog diaper frequently. Just like children, dogs n`eed to feel fresh and clean to stay in a healthy state of mind.

  1. Pet Hair Brush

Even though you frequently take your dog for grooming, it’s quite handy to keep a comfortable pet hairbrush around the house.  Frequent grooming in dogs is linked to their mental well-being. Regular grooming is linked to a balanced mental and physical state of the pet. It keeps them stress-free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

There are different kinds of pet hair brushes which you can choose from,

  • A slicker brush helps to get rid of any debris, loose hair, and mats/knots.
  • A pin brush is made for dogs with longer and silkier coat types.
  • A bristle brush is well suited for dogs with short or wiry coats.
  • The undercoat rake is designed to get deep into double and heavy coats of dogs.

 

  1. Steel Food and Water Bowl

Using plastic food and water bowl for dogs is a complete No-No. The plastic bowls often form cracks after extensive use which leads to debris or residue. These can lead to the formation of germs and bacteria which can easily pass into the digestive system of your pets. Using a ceramic bowl is another best option.

You should fill the water bowls often during summer because dogs often perspire while sitting indoors. This is the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t remain dehydrated. Additionally, some dogs may develop an allergy to the plastic, resulting in a mild skin reaction on the chin or face

  1. Cozy Bed with Heating Pads

Your dog spends most of its life in its bed; hence ensure that you provide a cozy and comfortable bed. Using a cozy mattress is one of the options to make the bed extra cozy. During winter, you should consider installing heating pads in their bed. Do not use heated blankets meant for humans. Heated dog beds heat up safely for a dog's needs and work on low voltage making them safe for canines.

  1. Toys and Puzzles

Keeping pets engaged with different forms of toys and puzzles help to keep them away from developing isolation, boredom, or stress. This is important because dogs that “need a job” have a problem-solving mindset and will find puzzles very satisfying. You can find different forms of interactive games for pets. When you’re home, you can consider hiding treats and giving them clues to solve the problem. This helps to strengthen you and your pet’s bond.

  1. Flea Treatment Agent

Fleas can also sneak into your home any time of year. Easily available flea treatments can help to remedy your home from flea infestation. As an option, you can create your own concoction of home-based agents to develop flea treatments.

Use flea shampoos to wash your dog when it's flea season. This prevents flea from getting into your dog's coat, which is later carried inside your home.

Flea infection becomes common during spring and summer.

  1. Stain and Odor Remover

Stain and odor remover helps to remove stubborn urine smells from just about anywhere while removing the underlying pheromones. These pheromones are like a marker where your dog tends to return to and re-mark. You can find many enzyme-based cleaners on the market.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about other pet essentials you can gift your companion.

Topmost Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Summer is already here! Along with it come different kinds of allergies, rashes, flea, and dry skin. Your pet, both canine and feline, could face different kinds of allergens in and outside the house! The best way to prevent this is to prepare possible home remedies.

 As admitted by many pet owners, their pets end up consuming chemicals such as plant fertilizers and defrost toiletries and human pills. Such accidents may require immediate medical attention from a professional veterinarian. In common cases such as allergies, rashes, and flea bites, a pet owner can diagnose the conditions and administer homemade remedies accordingly.

 Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital, the best pet hospital in Des Moines to find possible home remedies for allergies, rashes, indigestion, flea and tick, and other problems.

Home Remedies for Common Pet Problems

Here are home remedies for some of the most common pet problems. 

FLEA INFECTION

  • A mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt can make an effective flea spray. Dilute 6 cups of apple cider vinegar with 4 cups of water, and then add a dash of sea salt. You can spray the mixture directly onto your dog's coat.
  • You can place a flea collar in the bag of your vacuum cleaner. This way, any fleas you sweep up will remain inside.
  • Flea collar is sprayed with insecticides. If you resist using insecticide, you can use active ingredients such as cedar, lemongrass, rosemary, and marigold. This will help deter them.
  • A regular flea bath to your dog during spring, summer, and autumn with limonene shampoo, and flea-comb will help prevent any flea infection.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to each quart of the animal’s drinking water. It acts as a flea deterrent and it helps keep pets free of fleas and ticks.
  • As an organic approach, you can stock your garden with off-leaf larvae-eating nematodes. These can help to bring down your Japanese beetle population.
  • To keep your home free of flea, you can consider spraying your window and door screens with distilled water containing several drops of bitter orange essential oil.

 

ITCHINESS & DRY SKIN

Dry skin and itchiness are common in pets during spring and summer. During summer, you must restrict your pet from staying outdoors for a long period of time.

 An Oatmeal bath is one of the most common and effective home remedies to prevent itchiness. Prepare a bath by adding uncooked oatmeal or rolled oats into a sock or nylon stocking. Run a tubful of warm water over it. Next, you can soak your pet in the water for 5-10 minutes before rinsing them dry. As an option, you can also buy Oatmeal-based shampoos from the pet stores.

 Using aloe Vera gel is another way to prevent itchiness. Start with break off a piece of the plant and apply the thick gel onto the raw area or the skin. Beware; your pet mustn’t lick the area. Ingesting aloe vera can cause vomiting. 

CUTS, SCRAPES & ABRASIONS

Cuts, scrapes, abrasions are common during any time of the year. If your pet is active and runs around places, or forages into the dustbin, it is more likely to get cuts and scrapes.

 Mix together 1-pint water, ½-teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon calendula tincture. Next, you can soak the injured part in the solution. An injured paw can be soaked into the solution while the wound on the body requires applying the solution through a squirt bottle. Gently apply the solution to the infected area. Repeat the process every 4 to 6 hours for the first 24 hours.

 

BITES AND SCRATCHES

If your pet gets serious bites and scratches, you must immediately take it to the vet.

  • For smaller wounds, you can start with rinsing it with the following solution: 1-pint water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon Echinacea/goldenseal tincture.
  • As an option, Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to clean wounds, but it can hurt delicate tissues.
  • In the case of felines, cat wounds are infamous for forming abscesses. If the abscess is draining, you should clean it with Echinacea/goldenseal solution. Wear a protective layer or latex gloves while handling an abscess.

 

TISSUE TRAUMA

Tissue trauma is common in pets after they fall from a height, get stepped on, or are in a fight. 

  • As an effective home remedy, you can apply common homeopathic remedy arnica which speeds the recovery.
  • You can administer two pellets of arnica 30c once per hour for three hours following the injury.

 

PET INDIGESTION OR LOOSE STOOL 

Indigestion or loose stool in pets is mostly after they eat something they shouldn’t have. If your dog scavenges from the dustbin or kitchen bin, you should start keeping it away from their reach. Most often scavenge for food items outside the house. This can lead to the ingestion of food or items that can affect their digestion.

  • Certain food items can irritate the bowel, creating nerve impulses that signal the gut to speed up. If the food moves too quickly, the result is loose stools.
  • You can prevent this by inspecting what they eat all the time. Don’t over-feed supplements such as Vitamin B which can lead to loose stool.
  • The herb slippery elm, available as powder or capsules, can help control indigestion and loose stool.
  • Ensure that you keep fertilizing, pesticide, and chemicals away from your dog’s reach. Most of these items can be poisonous and the first sign of poison is often loose stool.

SKUNK SPRAY-ON PETS

Skunk spray is common during summer and spring when your dog plays outside the house. The nosy practice of dogs often lands them in trouble. A skunk sprays the allergic liquid when they detect a threat.

  • If you notice that your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, you can start with bathing them in a mixture of one-quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap.
  • The stench of skunk spray is another problem to get rid of. You can use tomato juice, to remove the smell. Leave it on for several minutes before rinsing it off. For a large dog, a single wash can require several cans of tomato juice, so be prepared for this.

 

GET RID OF PLASTIC FOOD DISHES

 Plastic utensils are often allergic to pets. Hot spots around the face can be caused by plastic food bowls. You can start by replacing the plastic food and water bowls with stainless, glass, or ceramic bowls. Clean the bowls often to remove any decay.

 Most pets are prone to bacterial allergens which develop into puppy acne or feline acne and a rash or pimples in the face area such as nose and chin.

 Urban pet Hospital & Resort is the Best Doggy Daycare in Urbandale and premier pet hospital in Urbandale. Get in touch with for the best doggy daycare and assistance from a certified veterinarian.

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons why your old dog smells bad?

Dogs do often smell. It is a part of their hygiene. Many dogs smell when they have stepped outside for play or have foraged for food inside the dust-bin, however, there is always a difference between funny smell and stink.

Although common in many dogs, stinking isn’t noticeable until they have been diagnosed with different physical ailments. Stink is one of the earliest signs of underlying pet healthcare problems. Bad smell is more common in geriatric dogs who often encounter age-related diseases and ailments such as bowel disorder, cancer, oral disease, and anal sac problem.

It is essential that you keep track of how your dog smells over the time to ascertain there are any underlying physical problems with them. Once you begin noticing unusual smell or stink, you should immediately consult your veterinarian.

7 reasons why your old dog smells bad

Here are seven major reasons for an old dog to start smelling bad.

a. Dental Disease

Dental problem is common in many elder dogs. You should take elderly dogs to the vet every six months, so any underlying problems can be figured out before it gets serious. Depending on the dental problem, your dog might require tooth extraction, gum surgery, or a thorough cleaning.

By the age of 3, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of gum disease. Periodontal disease is common in dogs from a young age. It becomes more prevalent in elderly dogs. Periodontal disease begins when bacteria in the mouth combine with food particles to form plaque. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar resulting in a deteriorating gum line. It produces toxins that lead to bone and tissue damage.

While a slight odor is normal for pets, stinky breath indicates deteriorating oral hygiene. Sometimes the underlying dental infection or cancer can cause smelly breath.

Another problem specific in dogs is Gingival Hyperplasia, the overgrowth of the gums that can harbor food residue and produce a rotten smell. Boxers, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Collies, and Great Danes are more prone to this oral disease.

b. Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, also known as lack of bladder control, is more frequent in elderly dogs. The aging dogs are more prone to weaker bladder and bladder infection. Over time, the muscles of the urinary tract system start to weaken in elderly dogs. Without bladder control, urine leaks onto a pet’s fur, which leads to odor over time, unless given frequent baths.

The condition has been seen occurring more frequently in senior spayed females than male dogs. Certain breeds are predisposed to urinary incontinence, including the springer and cocker spaniel, Old English sheepdog, and Doberman pinscher.

If you begin noticing foul smells in your dog, you should certainly take them to the vet. Once diagnosed, your vet will prescribe medication to strengthen your dog's sphincter muscle for better urine control or offer hormonal therapy. Sometimes it could be the sign of kidney disease.

c. Kidney disease

Bad breath (Halitosis) isn’t always caused by poor oral hygiene, sometimes it could be deteriorating kidney problems. Pets with kidney disease are unable to eliminate toxins from the bloodstream, which build up over time and create an ammonia-like odor to your dog’s breath. A metallic odor to their breath could also be a sign of kidney disease.

Kidney disease is a frequent occurrence in elderly pets. Dogs diagnosed with kidney diseases are often thirsty. Excess water consumption and increased urination, dull coat, appetite loss, and mouth soreness are few of the symptoms of underlying kidney disease. When you notice the earliest signs of kidney diseases, you can consult your vet who will prescribe a special kidney diet. For chronic kidney diseases, a kidney transplant is a more common solution.

d. Diabetes

Elderly dogs are more prone to diabetes. Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes in general is a common disease in middle-aged and older dogs. It’s a complex disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in dogs. It can be the result of a relative or absolute insulin deficiency or of peripheral cell insensitivity to insulin which is characterized by high blood glucose concentrations such that the renal threshold is exceeded.

Elderly dogs are unable to produce enough insulin or aren’t using insulin properly. The body fails to use the food they eat for nutrients. Over time the body will begin to weaken. It is an endocrine disorder. One of the effects of diabetes is a condition called ketosis when the body is forced to burn its fat supplies. When your dog is creating ketones, their breath will have a distinctive odor, which some say smell like nail polish remover, while others say the odor is sweet.

e. Skin Infection

There are many reasons for skin infection in dogs. Secondary bacterial infections from constant scratching, dogs with wrinkly skin, and allergies are often the major reasons for skin infection. Incessant scratching can lead to a bacterial infection which can give off a putrid odor.

Dogs with wrinkly skin, such as English bulldogs, Shar Pei's, or pugs, are more prone to developing skin fold dermatitis when two skins come close in contact. It creates a warm, moist environment perfect for an overgrowth of surface microbes which can produce toxins that cause irritation and inflammation.

Allergy is one of the major reasons for skin infection in dogs. It often manifests in itchy skin allowing bacteria to enter through breaks in the skin, leading to a stinky infection.

f. Anal Sac Issues

Anal sacs issue occurs because of anal sac infection or impactions. This often leads to a nasty smell. Anal sacs are two small glands located on either side of the dog’s rectum. If untreated, it can lead to anal sac rupture and forms an abscess which can also create quite a stench. Common signs of anal sac issues are when they drag their bottom on the ground, scooting, and licking of anal.

g. Flatulence

Flatulence occurs when your dog eats something it isn’t supposed to. On occasion, your dog’s diet may simply not agree with their gastrointestinal system, and a food change is in order.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas taking proper care of elderly dogs.

How to Become a Foster Parent to Pets?

Fostering is a usual concept in pet care where a person or a household takes in a homeless pet that needs parenting. Like fostering a human child, fostering a pet includes providing them utmost love, emotional support, hygienic meal, and time.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many pets are in need of constant care. Pets are in desperate need of foster care at this time partly because many shelter homes and volunteers had to close down temporarily to self-isolate. Pet abandonment is also rising mainly because people are forced to stay home with no work. With no money, pet owners are more likely to abandon.

Those with sheer interest and resources can definitely take up fostering. One can contact the local pet shelter to check if they can foster a pet. They will often set you up with the basic necessities, pet care advice and a supply of pet food to get started.

Why do People need to foster Pets?

There are many reasons a pet might need foster care. Some of the most common include:

  • A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for pets until suitable homes are found.
  • A pup is too young to be adopted and needs a safe place to stay until it is old enough for adoption
  • A pet is recovering from surgery, illness, or injury and needs a safe place to recuperate.
  • A pet is showing signs of stress such as pacing or hiding in the shelter.
  • A pet has not lived in a home before or has not had much contact with people and needs to be socialized.
  • In many cases, fostering pets can help save space in the shelter which is running out of room for adoptable pets.
  • It helps shelter or rescues another pet.

How Do I Become A Foster Care Provider?

Deciding to become a foster parent to homeless pets can be the greatest treasures. So you’ve decided to become a pet foster parent, but what next?

Here is the brief outline to fostering a pet:

  • Check with local shelter homes or petfinder.com to find shelters and rescue groups near you.
  • Contact the organization in-person and fill up the foster application.
  • Evaluate and complete applications carefully
  • Get ready to bring home your foster pet
  • Share special moments with your pet and give the utmost care and attention
  • Socializing and training are parts of fostering a new pet.

Although it can be harder for the foster parents to send off their beloved pet once it is ready to be adopted, the bittersweet experience can be overcome by the feeling that you have more pets to take in and care for.

The first and foremost step is to contact your local shelter and rescue home. Websites like www.petfinder.com help to locate an animal shelter or rescue group near you along with filtering your search request to a specific breed, age, and type of animals. You can also find many other different adoption organizations that help seniors, special needs, or different animal types.

After successfully locating an organization, you can inquire or put in your request to foster a pet. Each application is carefully reviewed. You must ask this question:

  • Who pays for the vet bills?
  • Who is financially responsible for the dog’s food, microchip, leashes, crate, etc.?
  • Where will the dog be introduced to prospective adopters and what are your responsibilities?
  • Are you responsible for training the dog and if so, to what level?

The size of your home and time spent with a pet also determines if you can qualify to become a foster parent. For certain dogs, a foster parent who is home all day may be required, or home without cats or children.

The shelter or rescue group may require a veterinary reference and/or a printed application and one or more telephone or in-person interviews.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fostering

Here are some of the crucial questions you must consider before taking up fostering.

a. Are you able to separate the foster pets from your own?

You should have a place where you can isolate your foster pet from your own companion animals. It is important to introduce them slowly.

b. Are you prepared to pet-proof your home?

Preparing your home and the area the animal will stay in can prevent most accidents, help keep your pet safe and help set you both up for fostering success.

c. Are you willing to help a pet with medical concerns or who may need medication?

Ask if your foster pet has any medical considerations to be aware of any medication it needs to take. If so, make sure that you’re willing and able to make sure your pet is getting the medication or care.

d. Can you get to the shelter’s vet quickly in case of an emergency?

Talk to the shelter or rescue group about how they prefer you to handle any emergencies. The shelter or rescue group likely works with a veterinarian who can treat your foster pet. If the animal you are fostering needs medical attention, you will need to transport them to the veterinarian’s office or shelter for care.

e. What will you do to prepare to return the pet after the foster period is up?

Sometimes it can be difficult to let go once you have become emotionally attached to an animal! Although an emotional moment, when the day comes that you must bring your first foster pet back to the shelter or to an adoptive home you should be willing to do it.

f. Do you feel comfortable explaining to friends that these pets are not yours to adopt out and that they must go through the regular adoption process at the shelter?

If you are interested in helping to find a home for your foster pet, refer your friends and family to the shelter or rescue group to complete an adoption application.

Qualifications

To be a successful foster parent, you will need a compassionate nature, the cooperation of your family or partner, flexibility, and some knowledge of animal behavior. The length of time a foster pet may stay in your home varies with the animal’s situation.

Know Your Limits

Foster parents should know their limits while taking in a new foster pet.

  • Does your homeowner's insurance or city have any breed or weight restrictions? Do you have time to devote to a foster pet while giving your own pets the attention and care they need?
  • What kind of behavior problems are you comfortable dealing with – counter surfing, pulling on the leash, jumping when greeting, inappropriate elimination, separation anxiety, barking, reactivity? Don’t accept a foster that may need help beyond your experience and knowledge, unless you are willing to consult with a qualified trainer.
  • What kind of health considerations might you be willing to accommodate? Providing medication? Incontinence? Digestive disorders? Special dietary needs?
  • Do you require a foster dog that is comfortable around small children or other animals?

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas on fostering and adopting a pet.

How has the Global Lockdown Affected the Wildlife?

With humans safely enclosed inside homes, urban wildlife and vegetation are taking over the streets. Vegetation slowly reclaims large cities, while deer foxes and other small animals roam the streets.

The closest we’ll ever get to this scenario will be in an actual apocalypse. Although New York City isn’t exactly roamed by Zombies like in ‘I am Legend,’ one can feel the same eeriness when walking down the street.

In San Francisco, coyotes—normally scared away by cars— are traipsing across the desolate Golden Gate Bridge. In the Welsh town of Llandudno, mountain goats are moving in. In Barcelona, wild boar have infiltrated the city center. Jackals were seen roaming around Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Jackals in Tel Aviv

Although urban wildlife is thriving at this time of lockdown, the animals which depend on the specific environmental condition are likely suffering. Specialist wildlife requires specific foods or environmental conditions, and the specialists are the species that are generally of conservation concern.

Lockdown has affected the Wildlife

With lockdown in effect, it has adversely affected the ecotourism industry-funded conservation efforts. In Namibia, tourism accounts for 16 percent of employment. In Tanzania, protected lands cover over a quarter of the country’s total area. But in the last few weeks, these tourism industries have declined.

The slump in tourism is likely to stay in place until September at least, according to the Nature Conservancy. Without tourists, they are less likely to pay salaries for the security guards who protect animals from poachers.

Many experts fear that facing massive unemployment, people in the tourism industry may themselves turn to poach to feed their families.

Matt Brown, Africa regional managing director for the Nature Conservancy said,

Anything with a horn right now, like rhinos, is at risk of being poached. The concern is that we're going to lose the last 10 years of good conservation work—and an increase in animal numbers—quickly because of this.

Mountain goats in Wales

Animals in Captivity are suffering

Animals that are kept in human captivity for entertainment or other commercial purposes are suffering from the lockdown. Although keeping animals in human captivity is outright wrong, many animals who already are living in captivity are suffering from a lack of human attention.

Amusement parks which employ animals such as dolphins, penguins, and seals are mostly suffering from lack of tourist. Without tourists, the parks aren’t able to feed the animal. Many experts are of the opinion that the owners of amusement parks or other forms of human captivity must release the animals to their natural habitat.

Natasha Daly, a writer for National Geographic, says the decline in tourism is a global issue that will continue to affect the animal industry in uneven ways. And smaller facilities will face a heavier burden than larger, more established ones.

She fears that it’s a very real concern that many of these animals that are languishing in some of these substandard facilities around the world may not be getting the care or food or veterinary attention that they would if the facilities had the sort of money coming in that they’re used to.

Some desperate animals have been recorded wandering into city centers in search of food. This can do harm to both them and the local resources.

How COVID-19 Pandemic has prevented the consumption of Exotic Animals?

As we all know, the first case of COVID-19 transmission began in the wet market of Wuhan Province in China. Experts are of the opinion that the zoological virus transmitted from a Pangolin to the animal, while others are of the opinion that the virus first transmitted after eating a bat’s meat.

According to NewsWeek.com,

In Shenzhen, China, a law was passed banning the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat, which will come into effect on May 1. Known as the "Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals," the legislation was passed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It also bans the consumption, breeding, and sale of wildlife for human consumption in the city—including snakes, lizards, and other wild animals.

Another animal that enjoys the recent ban in the pandemic is the pangolin—a mammal that has protective scales on its body made of keratin, which is the same material as human nails.

Pangolin is a mammal wholly-covered in scales. The animal found in the wild or sanctuaries depends on the diet of ants, termites, and larvae.

Unfortunately, the pangolin is one of the most trafficked animals in the world. Many smugglers traffic pangolins from Asia and African nations to the popular black market of China and Vietnam. Their meat is considered a delicacy and is used in traditional medicine.

Although the animal is regarded as an endangered species and is protected under national and international laws, animal meat is flourishing in the black market.

However, COVID-19 has forced the Chinese government to put a temporary ban on trading and eating many wild animals, including pangolins.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says that two of the African species of the pangolin are considered vulnerable and two are endangered. It also shows that of the Asian species, one is endangered and the other three are critically endangered.

With the prolonging lockdown, many people are expected to lose jobs. This may include jobs held by experts and caretakers who look after wildlife species inside the conservation area, sanctuaries, animal parks, etc. With dwindling manpower and lack of resources, the upkeep of the animal may see a large problem.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines. To ensure you and your pets’ safety during this pandemic, we can provide useful tips and resources online.

How Can You and Your Pet Beat the Self-Quarantine Stress?

Each one of us is contemplating when the COVID-19 pandemic will be over. Staying in a self-quarantine state can be one of the most boring and stressful things. One of the burning issues of staying put at home every day is the claustrophobia.

Like us humans, pets feel claustrophobic too! Being confined in a single space for a long time can equally increase stress in animals. Most pets such as dogs resort to incessant panting, pacing, and whining when suffering from claustrophobia.

An estimated 68% of U.S. households have a pet. During the time of self-quarantine, you have an opportunity to beat stress and claustrophobia by indulging in playful activities with your pets.

How Dogs can cope with Self-quarantine stress?

Canine have been domesticated for over 10,000 years. They are bred in such a way that they require enough attention, time, and dedication. When left away for a long time, they can develop signs of frustration.

Claustrophobia in dogs is the fear of restriction and can vary in intensity from one dog to another. Whether a dog will develop this fear is influenced by their genetics, conditioning, as well as the amygdala in their brain. The amygdala plays a major role because it’s responsible for fear conditioning, as well as the flight or fight response.

Dogs aren’t used to sitting in a confinement for a long time. They want their owners to play with them or provide attention which isn’t possible when they are working from home.

Remus a blue heeler/collie mix owned by Jerin Henderson situated in Portland, Texas has started withdrawing from its regular life. As Jerin is spending more time working, he's not able to spend more time playing with Remus.

Remus started whining a lot lately. It started sleeping underneath the bed for a few days. It came as a surprise because Remus always slept with him on the same bed.

How to prevent self-quarantine stress in dogs?

  • Take them to an open area to calm down but do not let them off the lead as they are likely to run.
  • Talk calmly in a low voice to settle them and avoid large reactions.
  • When at home, avoid using doors to contain the dog. Instead, opt for gates that they can see out of, making them less likely to trigger.

Cats are looking for Me-Time

In the case of cats, it’s mostly the opposite. Cats are a more solitary animal and they enjoy their me-time.

A house cat Karban owned by Hirow Peralta situated in Charleston, South Carolina started showing awkward behavior. Karban was used to having the whole house to itself when Hirow went out to work. It enjoyed sitting inside the house, but since Hirow started spending her entire time home, Karban started becoming restless.

Hirow wrote in Twitter

“she so tired of me being home she became an outside cat."

Karban who never left home started escaping the confinement and spend more time on the roof.

How to provide me-time for Cats?

  • Increase the physical distance between you and your cat. This can include working in a different room or space in a house.
  • If you share the same space such as a studio apartment, give your cats something to play with or keep it occupied.

How Pet Owners can cope with Self-quarantine Stress?

The self-quarantine time has been equally difficult for pet owners. Most of us struggle with working from home while trying to balance time with pets. It’s likely for people to experience claustrophobia when we have to spend the entire day inside the home.

At such dire time, spending more time with pets has been linked with beating self-quarantine stress for both pets and pet owners.

An estimated 17.3 million adults suffer from major depression, according to the latest National Institute of Mental Health data.

Research also has shown that people who don’t feel connected to others are more likely to catch a cold, develop heart disease, have a lower cognitive function, and live shorter lives.

How owning a pet can help with beating stress and depression?

The companionship of pets such as cats and dogs in daily life can help prevent frustration and depression. It has always been attested by different scientific communities.

  • Interacting with animals on a regular basis helps to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Pet can be a great companion. They can help reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.
  • Owning a physical active pet such as dogs and cats can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, and encourage exercise and playfulness. Playing with your pet can improve your cardiovascular health.
  • Playing with and caring for an animal can be more beneficial for children at the time of self-quarantine. It can help them grow up more secure and active.
  • Spending time with pets can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which will calm and relax you.
  • Companionship will prevent the onset of stress and depression. Caring for a live animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most dog and cat owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles.
  • Taking a dog for a walk, hike or run is a fun and rewarding way to stay fit and healthy. Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements—and exercising every day is great for the animal as well. It will deepen the connection between you, eradicate most behavior problems in dogs, and keep your pet fit and healthy.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas on beating self-quarantine stress. To ensure you and your pets’ safety during this pandemic, we can provide useful tips and resources online.

How to keep your pets occupied during the lockdown?

There is a lot of news coming out about pet owners struggling to stay home with their pets. Most pet owners are finding it hard to find new activities to keep their pets indulged throughout the day.

One thing pet owners can worry less about the pandemic is that there are no cases of COVID in pets. Scientists confirmed that pets such as dogs and cats are less likely to contract COVID-19. However, they are prone to different types of coronaviruses, but that has nothing to do with the current outbreak of COVID-19.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no animals in the US have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19.

How to keep your pets occupied during the Lockdown?

Here is a guide for the pet owners to help make things a little easier for their pets. We have broken down the guide according to the animal you own.

Dog

Here is how you can keep your dog occupied.

Search Games: No games are ever outdated for dogs. At this time of lockdown, you can create a game such as hiding treats or toys around the house for your dog to find. This will help to keep them on their feet and stimulate their brain.

Shell game: This is a popular mental stimulus. Place three plastic cups upside-down on the floor and hide a treat or toy under a cup. Move the cups around each other. Let your dog find the treat or toy by point out any of the cups.

Chewing: Chewing is the natural behavior of dogs. Give them chews such as Kongs to keep them busy for hours, as well as helping to maintain good dog dental hygiene.

Teach basic commands: This can be the best time to train your dog. You can begin with basic commands such as "sit", "stay", "come," “leave,” etc. If you need help delegating the commons, you can always refer to certified pet training channels on YouTube.

Teach names: Give toys names and ask your dog to fetch "teddy", "ball", or "dolly" and put them in a box.

Cat

Unlike dogs, cats have different ways to keep themselves occupied. However, if you wish to spend some quality and productive time with your cat, you can follow these guides.

Agility: Agility exercise can be very useful for cats. You can find many great videos on YouTube about Do-it-yourself agility exercises. You can find many timed obstacle courses online.

Fishing games: Turn some string into a kind of fishing rod. Fix a shuttlecock at the end of it and then swing it through the room. Your cat will love chasing it!

Clicker training: Training basic command to cats is very different from training basic commands to dogs. You can teach your cat a lot with clicker training like few tricks such as "come" and "high five."

Ball games: Cats love to chase or catch anything that moves. Throwing a bouncy ball against the wall will keep your cat busy for hours trying to catch it.

Torch game: Use a torch or laser-light to make a spot dart around the room and let your cat indulge her passion for ‘hunting’ it.

Small Animals

Small animals may include hamsters, mice, and rabbits. Here is how you can keep them occupied.

Obstacle courses: Build a small and safe obstacle course using a few small boxes made out of cardboard or paper of different heights with treats on top of them, so that your pet is kept busy finding the treats.

Hide-and-seek: This game works well if the incentive is to find food treats. Just spread a few healthy snacks around the room for your pet to find.

Hunt game: Tie a piece of apple or any other fruit and food that your pet fancies to a tight ribbon and pull it across the room to get your pet to ‘hunt’ the fruit.

Frequently Asked Questions

During the time of the pandemic, pet owners are worried about their pet’s health.  Here are some of the answers to frequently asked questions by the pet owners.

How can I keep my dog in a routine while I’m working from home?

With both pets and pet owners inside the house, it’s hard to find time to keep up with the usual schedule such as work, eat, or exercise. Pet’s need optimum physical and mental stimulation to keep them healthy.

Although you’re home trying to maintain the regular schedule. Ensuring your dog has as normal a routine as possible is really important. When they get used to the unusual schedule during the lockdown, it can be hard for them to cope with a regular schedule post-lockdown.

It will also help to get your dog into a routine if you try to start and finish work at the same time each day and take your break/lunch at the same sort of time. When you’re home, try to spend more with your pet indulging in the activities you missed. You can indulge in different types of games or training sessions.

Can I walk my dog outside?

US Government has outlined that healthy people who don’t have symptoms can go outside and exercise within 2km of their homes, once they practice social distancing.

If you have a backyard or empty spaces around your house, you can always take your pet outside. This can be true for the suburbs; however, if you live in a dense city, you must practice precautions before going out.

Keep your dog on-lead when out walking and don’t be afraid to ask people not to pet your dog to ensure you stay at least two meters apart from other people at all times.

You should avoid parks or open spaces where your dog might wander off. Keep your dog on the lead. Don’t forget to pick up after your dog and wash your hands thoroughly when you are back inside.

Can I walk my dog off the lead?

It can be a bad idea to walk your dog off lead mainly because they can wander off. When the strict rules are placed on movement, it is important that you adhere to traveling long distances.

If you use a long lead, we’d suggest slowly introducing a short lead – this can be done by slowly limiting their distance from you, using positive rewards to let them know they are doing a good job!

Your daily walk is a good time to spend quality time with your dog. Wherever possible, try to give them your undivided attention.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas on keeping your pets happy. To ensure you and your pet's safety during this pandemic, we can provide useful tips and resources online.

Benefits of being a Cat Owner

Owning a pet is the greatest pleasure in the world. According to a scientific study, owning a pet is linked to better mental health. Along with helping your mental stimulation, keeping a cat ensures a friendly environment at home.

DID YOU KNOW? Cat is the most popular pet in the United States. More people own cats than dogs. 86% of the household owns about 85 million cats according to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

Let’s take a look at the benefits of owning a pet, especially a cat.

Benefits of Being a Cat Owner

Here are ten of the most essential benefits of owning a cat.

1. Owning a feline is better for the environment

Cats are environment-friendly pets. They account for almost zero carbon emissions. If you're worried about the carbon footprint, it’s better to own a cat than a dog. The resources such as food, shelter, and clothes required for a cat is way much lesser than owning a dog. Resources needed to pet a dog over the course of its lifetime create the same eco-footprint as that of a Land Cruiser.

Cats have smaller appetite compared to dogs and are more likely to eat small choices of food. The pet healthcare cost associated with a cat is lesser than other pets as well.

2. Cope with your emotional stress

We all go down the bad phase of life where we might lose the loved one, get separated with a confidant, lose a lifetime opportunity, or feel in despair. Cats have been shown to help people get over their loss more quickly.

Owning a pet, in general, helps to cope with emotional difficulty. Despite being an animal, they can serve as social support. The best thing about pets is that they do not judge you like a human or leave you at your worst.

3. Help find a partner

A British survey found that 82% of women are more attracted to men who like animals such as dogs and cats.

Many women chose a cat over a dog. Whopping 90 percent of single women said that men with cats as pets are “nicer.” Even if you aren’t able to find a partner, you can always rely on the company of your pet.

4. Survey says, “Cat Owners are Smarter”

It’s isn’t true that owning a cat makes you outright smart, but when you are a dedicated person who delves into longer work and study hours, owning a cat can be the best thing for you.

A 2010 survey of British pet owners by the University of Bristol found that people who owned cats were more likely to have college degrees.

The time spent in caring for other pets like a dog can consume a lot of time. Tending a cat requires way less time compared to other pets, hence giving more time for the pet owner to focus on other important things.

5. A Healthy Heart

Owning a pet is linked to a healthy heart! Cats, in particular, can lower your stress level and lower the amount of anxiety in your life. A scientific study over a 10-year period concluded that the cat owners were 30 percent less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than non-cat owners. Although it may require further scientific research, it is proven that owning a pet can lower your stress level. Time to adopt a new cat now!

6. Fulfill your need for Companionship

Each of us seeks companionship! What better to fulfill that by adopting a cat? Caressing a cat and receiving the same kind of affection back can fulfill your companionship needs.

An Austrian study conducted in 2003 found that having a cat in the house is the emotional equivalent of having a romantic partner.

Unlike dogs, cats are more likely to be demanding and stubborn. An interesting scientific study conluded that:

After thousands of years of domestication, cats have learned how to make a half purr/half howl noise that sounds remarkably like a human baby’s cry. And since our brains are programmed to respond to our children’s distress, it is almost impossible to ignore what a cat wants when it demands it like that.

7. They tell a lot about your personality

Your choice of pet reveals a lot about your personality. As per the study conducted, most dog owners are found to have a more extrovert life, while the cat owners are quieter and more introverted.

Cat owners score highly when it comes to being trustworthy, less manipulative, and modest.

8. Sleep Better

Sleeping with a pet around is linked with quality sleep and healthy pattern. A study in UK found women preferred to sleep with their cats than with their partners. It has to do with a sense of security, companionship, and safety.

A study conducted by Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine indicates that 41 percent of the people in that study told that they slept better because of their pet, while only 20 percent said that it led to disturbances.

9. Fewer Allergies

The National Institutes of Health released a study in 2002 that children under a year old who were exposed to a cat were less likely to develop allergies

High pet exposure early in life can protect against not only pet allergy but also other types of common allergies. Marshall Plaut, M.D., chief of the allergic mechanisms section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases concludes this in his research.

Although there might be a chance of contracting cat-related diseases such as cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii, experts say that by changing your cat’s litter box every day and keeping them indoors, you will remain safe!

10. They can Save Your Life

Cats are infamous for their reputation of remaining aloof and not caring about their humans. But in certain cases, they were known to have saved lives.

A cat in the UK warns her human companion when he’s about to have an epileptic seizure. A cat in Montana woke up its two humans when a gas pipe started leaking. Firefighters told the couple that the house could easily have exploded if not for cat’s intervention.

Throughout history, cats have received the highest medals for their bravery and smartness.

How to keep your cats happy?

Here are five ways you can keep your cats happy.

  • Respect their space
  • Provide entertainment like playthings or toys
  • Feed them right. Feeding right means the right food at a right time.
  • Keep their teeth in check
  • Go outdoor with them

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital specializing in pet care services in Des Moines. Get in touch with us to know more about pet care, vaccination and therapies, and diet plans.

Can Dogs Get The COVID-19?

Although there are thousands of cases of COVID-19 infection among humans, there have been fewer or none cases in pets such as dogs and cats. Simply put, your pets are less likely to contract COVID-19, however, they are prone to different types of coronaviruses, but that has nothing to do with the current outbreak of COVID-19.

Coronavirus disease 2019 or popularly known as COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2).

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no animals in the US have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19.

How worried should a pet owner when the pet gets infected?

Dr. Andrew Pickerstein from Stamford, Connecticut clarified that,

“Dogs do not get this novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Although a couple of dogs in Asia did test positive on a surface swab, they weren’t actually infected with it.”

There aren’t any concrete cases of COVID-19 infection in pets; hence, until there is any information, the experts suggest that the pet owners can feel confident that the virus won’t spread between pets. However, there is a greater likelihood of certain bacteria on animals spreading between owners and their pets, so diligent hand washing is recommended.

What about the dog in Hong Kong?

The news of a Pomeranian contacting COVID-19 hit the news on February 28. This sent a caution to the pet owners around the world. Hong Kong health authorities announced that a dog belonging to a woman sick with COVID-19 also tested “weakly positive” for the new coronavirus, the virus that causes the disease.

Experts called it a “low-level infection” –suggesting it was surface contamination, with the dog picking up traces of the virus in its nose and mouth rather. Although this was likely to be the first reported case of human-to-animal transmission of the disease, the experts nullified any chances of serious illness in the dog.

What does that test result mean for the pet owners and family members?

Although pets are prone to other types of coronaviruses, pet owners can be relieved that their pets are safe from the novel coronavirus.

Previous experience with SARS suggests that cats and dogs will not become sick or transmit the virus to humans.

Experts from the University of Hong Kong, City University and the World Organization for Animal Health had been consulted, and all “unanimously agreed that these results suggest that the dog has a low level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission.”

Pet owners should practice caution whenever around an animal such as regularly washing hands before and after petting the dog, covering mouth with a tissue or a mask, and distancing oneself from the pet if there are any signs of infection.

How Pet owners keep their animals and family’s safe?

The preventive measures for COVID-19 are as follows:

a. Wash your hands frequently

To keep yourself and your pets from contracting COVID-19 or any other form of Coronavirus, you should thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hand prevents easy transmission of the infection.

b. Maintain Distance

If you have any symptoms such as coughing or sneezing, maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and your dog. Sneezing or coughing often sprays small liquid droplets that may contain the virus.

c. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

To ensure the safety of your family and pets, do not fidget with your eyes, nose, and mouth before or after petting your dog. Most infections occur when a person incessantly touches their nose, mouth, and eyes.

d. Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure to cover your mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing. Use disposable tissue and mask whenever around your pets

e. Seek medical care early

Stay home or indoors if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. It’s essential to quarantine yourself and keep your pets away from you.

f. Stay informed

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

 

What about the reports that an animal was the source of the virus?

A research team investigating about COVID-19 outbreak said COVID-19 may originate in bats. The genome sequencing of the novel coronavirus is as high as 96 percent identical with a type of coronavirus from bats, the team said, adding that the new coronavirus enters the receptor using the same cells with SARS virus.

Many experts suggested that the COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan’s Seafood market in China. Analysis of genomic data from 93 samples of the novel coronavirus suggests it was imported from elsewhere and the Chinese seafood market boosted its circulation and spread.

What should I do if my animal came in contact with someone who is later diagnosed with COVID -19?

Animals spread viruses between one another that are genetically distinct from human viruses. The genetic distinction makes it extremely difficult for humans and their pets to pass diseases on to one another including COVID-19.

There isn’t evidence that COVID-19 can spread through pets, so don’t worry. If your pet gets sick after interaction with someone with COVID-19, first call your veterinarian.

What if I or someone in my family develops COVID-19 or I am placed in quarantine because of close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19? What should I do about caring for my pet?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend limiting contact with pets or other animals if you develop COVID-19. In such a case, you should appoint someone else in the household to care for your pet if you are sick.

If you are in quarantine, but not sick, technically, your pet is in quarantine also, and you should find some way to care for the animal in the confines of your home, says veterinarian McKenzie.

Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek and the East Bay SPCA recommend that

  • Take precautions similar to common flu prevention.
  • Seek out reliable sources for updated information. The Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov; World Health Organization, www.who.int; and World Small Animal Veterinary Association, www.wsava.org, are good places to go for information on the virus.
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, the CDC recommends you minimize contact with your animal companions. Identify a family member or friend who can care for your pet.
  • Have crates, food, and extra supplies, including medications, on hand for quick movement of the pet. Two weeks’ worth of food, medicine, and other supplies is recommended. A pet first-aid kit is also good to have for any unplanned situation.
  • Ensure your animal’s vaccines are up-to-date in case boarding becomes necessary.
  • Document all medications with dosages and administering directions, including prescriptions from your veterinarian if a refill becomes necessary.
  • Pets should have identification such as an ID tag on their collar and a microchip. But remember, a microchip is only as good as the contact information registered to it.
  • Follow CDC and WHO guidelines: Wash your hands with soap and water for the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice; avoid touching your face; stay home if you are sick; cough or sneeze into your elbow; wash your hands before and after handling pets.
  • Pets don’t need masks.
  • If your companion animal has been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, contact the public health worker involved with the patient’s care. They will contact state veterinarians and direct you from there. If you are told to bring your pet to your veterinarian, call first so they can prepare isolation areas.