How to Keep Your Dog Safe From Germs
Most people know that dogs and other animals can carry diseases that they can pass to their human owners. However, people can just as easily pass germs and diseases to their pets, including dogs. This has been a massive concern with COVID-19.
It is a dog’s nature to be as close to their owner as possible, including sleeping in the same bed. Many owners oblige because dogs are warm and comforting.
However, before you let your dog into your bed tonight, consider if you’re taking the proper steps to keep your dog safe from disease-causing germs and other invisible dangers.
Illnesses That Commonly Affect Dogs
Rabies, distemper, and parvo are diseases that dog owners are encouraged to vaccinate their dogs against routinely. If left untreated, all three are potentially deadly. But those aren’t the only diseases your dog is at risk of contracting.
There are innumerable diseases that can strike dogs as easily as humans, such as cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. However, the causes of those diseases aren’t entirely known or preventable. Diseases caused by germs or parasites are preventable if proper cautions are taken.
Here are a few contagious diseases that are regularly found in dogs.
- Canine Papilloma Virus - Papillomas are oral warts found in an infected dog’s mouth. They can be transferred through communal water bowls, dog toys, and even dog bedding.
- Giardia - An intestinal parasite often caused by feces in water. It is often transmitted to dogs by swimming in unclean bodies of water.
- Leptospirosis - Some animals, such as raccoons and rodents, pass the disease to dogs by urinating in rain puddles that a dog later drinks from.
- Worms - Heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, and other worms are contracted mostly by dogs eating the feces of infected animals or from larvae entering through the skin on their paws.
Can Dogs Get COVID-19?
There are tons of diseases dogs are in danger of getting. But there is one question at the forefront of every dog owner’s mind right now. “Can my dog get the novel coronavirus?”
The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Rather, it’s yes and no. It’s important to understand that “coronavirus” is the name of a family of viruses, not just the one that’s causing a global pandemic.
As far as experts know right now, dogs cannot get infected by COVID-19, nor can they pass it to humans. However, dogs (and cats) can carry the virus on their fur, especially if their owner has tested positive.
There are other coronaviruses that dogs can get infected with, but they are generally less serious than the novel coronavirus.
5 Tips For Keeping Dogs Free From Diseases
Dogs are at higher risks for parasites and germs because they spend a lot of time outdoors. Many owners don’t realize the invisible dangers to their beloved pets.
These five tips can help keep your dogs safe from disease-causing germs:
Protect Your Dog’s Paws
The paws are one of the most sensitive parts of a dog’s anatomy. They’re also the part that comes in contact with the germ-laden ground the most. If your dog steps in an infected dog’s feces, your dog can potentially get sick when they later lick their paws.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands doesn’t just help prevent diseases from spreading from another person to you. It can prevent you from spreading diseases to your dog. The CDC recommends washing your hands in warm, soapy water for 20 seconds.
Don’t Ignore Coughs in Canines
Like people, dogs cough from time-to-time to clear their throats or another benign reason. However, if your dog coughs regularly, a vet visit is in order. A dog coughing often could indicate canine flu and other respiratory infections.
Follow Vet Recommendations for Vaccinations and Other Preventative Medicine
Veterinarians generally recommend rabies, distemper, and bordetella vaccinations for all dogs. Depending on a dog’s lifestyle, other vaccinations may be recommended, too. Preventative medication for heartworm and fleas and ticks are also important for keeping your pup healthy.
Supervise Your Dog When Outdoors
Dogs love to roam and explore. But encountering a wild animal or even another dog your dog doesn’t get along with can expose them to all kinds of germs and diseases. Parasites can live in puddles of water, swimming holes, and even the very soil your dog is walking on.
Protect Your Dog by Protecting Yourself
Many dog owners have the utmost concern for the wellbeing of their dogs. Walkee Paws founder, Lisa Baronoff, knew the importance of keeping her dogs’ paws clean from bacteria and germs they’d unknowingly step into on their daily walk and that was one of the reasons she launched Walkee Paws. Walkee Paws are the world’s first doggie leggings that are easy to put on, comfortable to wear, and designed to stay on.
"Walkee Paws provide a barrier between your dog's paws and the dirty streets to prevent them from bringing in viral, parasitic and bacterial disease from outdoors. They also protect against your dog licking toxic material off their paws, after outside walks.”
Dr Lawrence Zola, University Animal Hospital
Keep your dog and yourself safe from outside germs by washing your hands when you come home and taking off your pup’s Walkee Paws.
Leave the germs outside!