Many people chose to adopt pets during the COVID 19 pandemic to keep them company at home. However, pets like dogs are also affected by the pandemic. According to this site. different coronaviruses cause clinical signs in animals such as feline infectious peritonitis in cats and diarrhea in dogs. It is vital to understand that even though all coronaviruses are related, they differ in some way. For instance, SARS-CoV-2 does not cause canine coronavirus infections. Social distancing for dogs is therefore vital for pet owners who want to keep the animals safe.
Social distancing, also referred to as physical distancing is an effective strategy for reducing the spread of COVID-19. When people and animals are in close contact, the viral infection can spread easily between them. When there is more distance between them, it is more daunting for the viral infection to spread. Physical distancing involves creating distance between animals or people to slow down the spread of the disease. It involves the following principles:
- Staying at home as much as possible
- Limiting errands
- Avoiding crowds
- Postponing social gatherings or getting together virtually
- Working from home
- Staying 2 meters or 6 feet away from another while in public
The effect of social distancing in dogs
Generally, social distancing should be an enjoyable time for dogs. Many pets remain at home alone when the owners are at work or taking care of other responsibilities. During this time when people are practicing physical distancing, it is normal to spend more time at home. As long as you are not sick, you can take advantage of this time to enjoy additional playtime and cuddles with your dog. Exercise and fresh air can alleviate some of the anxiety and stress you might be feeling while providing your dog with some exercise and fun.
Spending time outdoors when social distancing is healthy. You can remain 6 feet or more away from other individuals and wear a face mask when other people are present. Avoid crowded areas such as busy trails and dog parks. Less popular trails and quiet neighborhood stress can provide you with an excellent opportunity to get outdoors for a long walk with your pet. According to the American Heart Association, when social interactions are limited, the bond between pets and humans and the mental and emotional well-being that comes is a powerful partner in keeping people healthy. The following are 5 reasons that dogs are enhancing human health, particularly during the pandemic.
1. Pets get to spend more time with their owners
Your dog will be happy to constantly see you around. It can also keep you keep your sanity through these times. Both pets and their owners benefit from spending more time together. The animal-human bond is a dynamic relationship that influences the well-being of both parties. It is easier to spend more time with your dog when you are not driving to and from work or going out to dinner. A pet can also provide you with the opportunity to get out of the home for routine walks. Therefore, it can keep you active and provide you with some consistency. Studies also show that pets can help their owners to alleviate stress, including those with long-term mental conditions. Surveys show that 74 percent of pet owners agree that their mental health improved once they adopted a pet. Positive human-animal relationships between animals and humans have a physical impact on both animals and humans. The oxytocin levels in their brains increase. Besides, researchers state that if a dog joins a collaborative setting, even if it is a virtual meeting, the participants rank their teammates higher in terms of camaraderie, team cohesion, and trust.
2. More pets are getting pulled from shelters into foster care
Shelters around the nations are calling for people to foster pets during the pandemic and the response from people has been great. Since many people find themselves isolated because of stay-at-home orders, shelters have placed many pets in need of temporary foster care. Shelters are getting ready for the opportunity for an increase in people requesting foster care for pets whose owners are hospitalized or severely ill. They also want to ensure that there is adequate space in the shelters for pets that the coronavirus pandemic financially impacted. This way, they can ensure that families have a safe place to bring such pets. When animals are placed in foster care, they have a chance to enjoy a home setting that is a much easier transition for animals that come from another home. For animals searching for a new home, moving to a foster home raises the chance that a family will adopt them. Foster families are often the first ones who see the true personalities of pets. Foster homes can be the first place for pets to learn how to behave well at home, and this makes them more appealing to potential adopters. Animals also become more social in foster homes with other animals and humans. This further increases their chance of getting adopted in a home that they will never move out of. Foster homes also provide animals with a place to heal.
3. Pets offer a sense of togetherness
The bond between pets and their owners improves and this is beneficial for both parties. When the pet owners touch, hear, or talk to the dogs, it brings about a sense of joy, goodwill, nurturing, and happiness. Furthermore, the stress hormones of pets and their owners are suppressed. This, therefore, means that the health of the dogs and their owners can improve. Pets also get to help their owners to manage anxiety since they provide them with unconditional love and companionship. They can also help their owners to manage work-related stress. Besides, dog owners are more likely to engage in the recommended physical activity than people who do not have a dog. Dogs provide their owners with a reason to get outside. Physical activity has many advantages for mental health in both dogs and their owners. Social distancing for dogs, therefore, has immense benefits for the dogs and their owners.