COVID-19 Hygiene How-Tos
Written by: Jen Ho
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been incessantly washing my hands. It is the first thing I do when I get home from a grocery run. And as circuit breaker measures start to ease, personal hygiene has never been more important.
And for those who have pets, they have an added responsibility – that of their pet’s hygiene (especially if you have a dog who goes on daily walks!).
According to the USA’s CDC, there is a small risk that your pet can contract COVID-19 from people, and a low risk that they can spread it to you. Meanwhile, in Singapore, there has been no evidence of animal-to-human transmission nor has the virus been found in animals locally.
Nevertheless, you should avoid letting your pets interact with anyone or other pets outside the household. Their coat and paws can act as a surface for virus particles to linger on, and we don’t want that.
Here are some tips to maintain personal hygiene for your pets, to protect them, your family and yourself better.
1. Bathing/grooming your pet.
If your pet is a family pet, many of you might have probably had your fair share of arguments with your siblings or whose turn it is to bathe the dog. Or maybe you have arguments with yourself on whether you should bathe the dog or not.
I know you’d rather be watching Netflix, but your pet’s hygiene demands your attention. Right. Now.
The frequency of your dog’s bath depends on a few factors, such as their breed/coat type, health and activity level. However, this amount of information deserves a page on its own.
Contact your groomer for accurate advice on how often you should bathe them. Otherwise, here are some general guidelines:
About every 3 months for dogs.
If they stink, they need a bath.
Using a shampoo such as Husse Schampo (with Australian Tea Tree Oil)* is a good choice for your dog’s coat health.
- Suitable for all breeds of dogs.
Only containing natural ingredients, this shampoo has a neutral pH which is well suited for sensitive skin.
Cleanses the skin to prevent skin irritations.
Contributes to the beauty of your dog’s coat.
*Note for cats regarding Tea Tree Oil: Potentially toxic to cats at relatively low concentrations, therefore is best if avoided.
I know, I know, bathing your pet regularly can indeed be quite a chore. But sometimes, you can get away with keeping your dog clean without giving them a full bath. How? Dry shampoo is the answer.
Suitable for all breeds of dogs.
pH neutral and gentle to skin.
Contains Australian Tea Tree Oil, known for its healing properties. It prevents itching, scabbing, and yeast infections.
Another facet of grooming is keeping off insects and pests, some of which love to hide out in your pets’ fur. To combat these nasty critters, try out Husse’s Insect Minus Concentrate, an all-natural insect repellent against mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas etc. It even has healing properties on skin.
Fun fact: The Husse team uses it on themselves and has declared it safe for humans as well!
2. Wipe your pet’s paws down.
We all know by now that the virus particles settle on surfaces and are easily transferred to our hands when we touch those contaminated surfaces – thus the reason for the frequent hand-washing.
Similarly, during your dog’s daily walk, their paws pick up all sorts of nastiness from the ground. While you can get away with not cleaning their paws in other more (normal) times, during this pandemic you never know what they pick up while walking outside. After getting back from a walk with your dog, wipe their paws down with some pet wipes.
Hygiene Hack: Squeeze some Mousse Schampo onto a cloth and use that to wipe your dog’s paws down!
If you have a cat, your cat probably doesn’t go on daily walks and spends half the time grooming themselves, but it is still good to wipe their paws down since there might be fecal residue after they leave the litter box. While cats are known to be clean and will groom and clean their paws and fur, it doesn’t hurt to give their paws a little extra wipe.
3. General hygiene tips during the pandemic.
When out walking your dog, try to avoid letting your dog interact with or lick other people and other dogs.
If possible, try to avoid letting your dog lick outside surfaces (although I admit this can be pretty hard to prevent).
After a trip out of the house to buy necessities, wash your hands before petting your dog. Resist doing so even if he comes to greet you excitedly.
If you are having your meal after playing with your pet, wash your hands first.
Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes or face excessively after playing with your pet.
Caring for your pet’s hygiene is also indirectly caring for your own hygiene too. Let us all stay safe and protect our furry companions and ourselves.