The Caronavirus Pandemic has changed the world, creating a New Normal in  how people are navigating their daily lives right now.  Mandatory social distancing, excessive handwashing and use of hand sanitizer, and an obsession with purchasing large quantities of toilet paper! But what about the impact COVID19 has had on our pets?  Life has changed for them too!  

Although the risk of dogs being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 appears to be extremely low,  animals can be infected with the virus that causes COVID19 ( SARS-CoV-2).  The CDC recommends that people treat pets as you would other family members to protect them against the virus.  Util we know more about how the virus could impact pets, I've made some changes to our dogs' daily routines.

Here are 7 Changes I Felt Compelled to Make in my dogs' lives due to the Caronavirus:

No Greeting or Petting

We no longer allow our dogs to greet other dogs, not even those we know.  Even with our dogs, we are practicing social distancing.  Rather than enjoy lengthy conversations in groups with other dog parents in the neighborhood, short chats from at least 6 feet away are all we have now.

It's possible that a person infected with COVID19 is asymptomatic.  If they pet a dog they might transfer germs to the dogs fur or mouth.  The dog's parent may then pet or kiss their dog and come in contact with the infected person's germs.  We just don't want to risk it. 

I can't play with my doggie friends for awhile.  I can only take walks with Mom, Dad and Icy.

For this reason, we don't let our dogs come in contact with other dogs and we don't allow anyone to pet our dogs, including children.  It's not easy to tell a child who really wants to pet Icy or Phoebe that we are all social distancing, including our dogs.  But we need to protect ourselves.

We still walk the dogs, they need the exercise and so do we.  However, we are careful about the times of day we walk them and where we walk them.  We know 7am is the dog walking hour around here, so we try to go out an hour later for our morning walk.  We've also started walking them along a lesser used grassy area instead of along the main path.

When we walk them we are mindful of how crowded the street looks as well.  If there are several people on the sidewalk, we cross to the other side or change our direction.  It's sad that we have to keep our distance from other dogs and people, but better safe than sorry!

No Therapy Dog Visits For Now

If you've been reading our blog for awhile you know that Icy is a Pet Partners therapy dog.  Icy and I love our visits to libraries, schools, nursing homes, and other places to help kids improve their reading skills, teach kids about pet care, and bring comfort and smiles to seniors.  Sadly, we've had to give up our visits for the foreseeable future, until the dangers of in person contact has passed.  And it will pass! I have confidence and faith in that.

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Icy loves being a Therapy Dog. I hope we can get back to our visits soon!

No More Starbucks Puppuccino's  

We no longer bring the dogs to our favorite public places like Starbucks for a Puppuccino or outdoor shopping areas to walk and people watch.  In fact, John and I can only go to a Starbucks drive-through, as their cafe's are take away only. Even the occasional drive-through is a rare treat for us. 

No Parks or Beaches for the Dogs 

No more fun romps at dog parks or beaches with Icy and Phoebe for us.  The parks and beaches have opened but social distancing is still required.  It would be nearly impossible to keep the dogs away from people and other dogs at the beach so we stick to walks around our neighborhood. 

So many times I get Icy out for a walk and she instinctively heads for the car, hoping for a park or beach adventure. Sadly, I steer her towards the street for our familiar neighborhood walk.  Sorry, sweet girl, no adventures for now!

Doggie Day Camp will have to wait 

No more doggie daycamp for the dogs right now.  Icy loves daycamp, it's a great opportunity to socialize with other dogs, and she gets to burn tons of energy - a necessity for any Siberian Husky! PetSmart closed their daycamp facilities for a few weeks, but then re-opened some of them. However, for now I feel safer keeping my dogs away from other dogs and retail store staff.  Am I being too cautious? Perhaps, but my dogs' health and safety is the most important thing to me.

Dog Grooming Is Out For Now

Likewise, no going to the dogs groomer either.  Phoebe will have to look like a hairy monster, or tolerate my amateaur grooming skills!  Awhile back I purchased an Andis dog grooming kit for myself and I've been practicing on Phoebe so I can groom her myself between professional grooming appointments.  Dog grooming is considered one of the "necessary businesses" but for now I think we'll pass. I feel safer keeping my dogs away from other dogs and any grooming staff. 

Mom is no hair stylist!

OK, so my Edward Scissorhands fantasy has come crashing down on me.  Phoebe doesn't exactly look like a show dog after I get through with her, LOL!!

Indoor Playtime

Playing keeps the dogs mentally stimulated and helps fight off boredom. It provides some physical exercise too, so I've busted out the puzzle games and played many rounds of Find the Treat with Icy and Phoebe.  I've also used the time to bone up on basic training like the dogs Emergency Recall Command and some tricks training.

I know the last few months have been unsettling and more than a little painful, but we will socialize and gather again once we get through the toughest days of this awful pandemic.  Our dogs will have play dates, they will run and play in dog parks and at beaches once again. But for now we all have to be patient, cautious and smart.  It's important to be aware and protect ourselves from the spread of this deadly virus.  May God bless you and your pets, I pray you will all stay safe and healthy! 💖

How has the Caronavirus Pandemic effected life with your pets?  Leave us a comment and share how you are coping.

Other posts you may enjoy:

Pet Dental Health Made Easy

Health Benefits of Adding Pumpkin to Your Dog's Diet

How Therapy Dogs Help Children Improve Reading Skills