Before Adopting a Dog During the Coronavirus Pandemic

There are a lot of animal shelters and other animal welfare organizations that have seen a notable increase in the number of people who want to adopt a dog. This is wonderful news because there are numerous reasons why adopting a dog is good for both dogs and dog owners. For example, it could very well save a life because animal welfare organizations have limited resources, meaning that they cannot provide all of their charges with adequate food and medical care without euthanizing some of them. Likewise, canine companions can be both physically and psychologically beneficial for their owners, which is on top of the satisfaction that can be had from saving a life. Having said this, it should be mentioned that adopting a dog isn’t something that should be done lightly, meaning that there are some things that interested individuals should look for.

Should You Be Concerned About the Potential of Catching COVID-19 From Your Dog?

For starters, chances are good that interested individuals are concerned about the potential for a dog to spread the novel coronavirus to them as well as vice versa. After all, there have been multiple cases of dogs getting the novel coronavirus, which makes sense because dogs and dog owners spend so much time with one another. However, the current indications are that this shouldn’t be a huge concern for interested individuals.

Unsurprisingly, there are researchers who have looked into this issue because the COVID-19 crisis cannot be brought under control unless we know how it is spread throughout the human population. For instance, the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute conducted a study in which the researchers exposed cats, dogs, pigs, ferrets, ducks, and chickens to samples of the novel coronavirus before putting them next to their unexposed counterparts. Out of the five dogs exposed to the novel coronavirus, just two of them excreted viral RNA but nothing infectious, meaning that their unexposed counterparts were even better-off. Meanwhile, the cats proved to be more susceptible, as shown by how there was the spread of the novel coronavirus from the exposed cats to the unexposed cats, while the ferrets proved to be very susceptible, so much so that they showed promise as potential subjects for clinical trials involving vaccines and other medical treatments. In contrast, neither the pigs nor the ducks nor the chickens showed so much as viral RNA.

Of course, the results of the study shouldn’t be considered certain proof that dogs are not a serious concern when it comes to the spread of the novel coronavirus. After all, it is just one study, meaning that more investigation into this topic is needed for increased certainty. Still, it does seem to agree with what everything else says about dogs in relation to the novel coronavirus, which is that they are likelier to catch the novel coronavirus from humans than the other way around. As such, if people want to adopt a dog during these times, this isn’t something that they should get too worked-up about, though they should still look into potential prevention methods if they are looking for their peace of mind.

What Are Some Other Things to Keep in Mind?

Besides that, there are other things to keep in mind when it comes to adopting a dog during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Consider the Long Run – Currently, there are a lot of people with a lot of free time on their hands. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for said individuals to look for something to do, which could lead some of them to consider adopting a dog. However, interested individuals need to remember that the COVID-19 crisis won’t last forever, meaning that there will come a time when matters return to either normal or something closer to normal. Due to this, interested individuals need to consider whether they will actually be capable of taking care of the dog that they have adopted once this happens because it is going to be bad for both dog and dog owner if they have to return their adopted dog. Otherwise, interested individuals should also consider what kind of dog they want in the long run because something that is well-suited for their current circumstances might not be so well-suited once the COVID-19 crisis has been brought under control.
  • There Are Both Upsides and Downsides to Adopting Now – There is no simple and straightforward answer to the question of whether now is a good time to adopt a dog or not, not least because there are both upsides and downsides. For example, most interested individuals have more time now, which can be used for training their dog as well as bonding with their dog. Something that can be particularly beneficial if their dog has some kind of behavioral issue that should be overcome sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, if interested individuals would like some assistance with training their dog, they are going to find that much more difficult to get because of physical distancing. Yes, there are sources of assistance that can be found over the Internet. However, even the best of them cannot match the responsiveness of live help, particularly when it comes to socialization. On top of that, interested individuals will have poorer access to relevant tools and supplies as well, which can also be a serious issue. In any case, there are both upsides and downsides to adopting a dog now, so people should evaluate the situation based on their own particular circumstances.
  • Have a Transition Plan – Sudden changes can be very jarring for both dogs and dog owners. As a result, it is a good idea for people to plan for the transition to the post-COVID-19 world so that they can make the process as smooth as possible. Otherwise, they could wind up having to improvise, which won’t produce the best results when it comes to something as potentially delicate as getting an adopted dog settled in. Having said that, there are also some elements of transition plans that interested individuals should implement sooner rather than later. For example, if they know that they are going to be away much of the time once things open up again, they should start spending some time away from their adopted dog to get them used to the idea. Suffice to say that a gradual adjustment in this regard is going to be much better than a sudden, stressful switch, meaning that an early start is important.

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