Girl walking her Beagle Dog

Walking your dog is a way to relive stress for both you and your pet.

Good news: There is no evidence that dogs and cats can get coronavirus! The AJC website says, “It is always a good idea to wash your hands before and after petting or feeding the dog, according to veterinarians.”

Will Sander, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine, told Business InOne: “At this time, people should be minimally concerned about this coronavirus affecting their pets. The virus seems well adapted to spread between people and therefore, unlikely to jump to dogs or cats.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that petting a dog’s fur is a low risk, noting that, “The virus survives best on smooth surfaces, such as countertops and doorknobs, while porous materials, like pet fur, tend to absorb and trap pathogens, making it harder to contract them through touch.”

A good way to reduce germs entering your home is to consider using a paw cleaner or paw wipes on your pet’s paws before they come inside the house. Paw cleaner and paw wipes can be purchased at pet stores and also on Amazon.

Many of us are staying at home as a precaution from exposure to the virus. What are we going to do? I suggest having board games, dance videos, playing cards, puzzles, and other activities prepared to keep you and your family preoccupied while waiting for the authorities to indicate the risk is over.

This also presents a great opportunity to spend more time with your four-legged friend. Walks are perfect for you and Fido not only because of the good bonding time, but also due to the benefits of exercising, socializing at a distance and minimizing boredom. Going for walks and exercising will help your dog sleep better, relieve anxiety, and ultimately be a happier and healthier dog. And, exercising will do the same for you!

Spending more time at home will also provide the needed time to work on obedience and or tricks. I have been trying to teach my Murphy to pull a wagon so that we can try to get another AKC title for tricks. She doesn’t like the noise or the tugging on her harness. However, I have lots of time now to keep working on this trick, so I just need to be patient and consistent with my training.

Take this time to bond, enjoy your dog, and take care of yourself!

The Heartland Dog Club has cancelled future training which was planned to begin in April. Once our world is back to normal, and the coronavirus is no longer a threat to anyone, we will resume our training.

For more information, please call 863-443-0571.