Online vet consultations peaked in 2020, and many online dog health magazines have doubled the usual number of visitors to their websites
The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions put in place to prevent it from spreading have changed the everyday lives of almost everyone. Since the virus emerged and the first lockdown, an unexpectedly large number of people have searched online for information about their dogs’ health issues. Most people started working from home, and for dog owners this has been an opportunity to spend more time with their pets and spot changes in their habits and behaviors that had previously passed under the radar. Visits to veterinary stations have become less frequent due to restrictions, which is why the number of online veterinary consultations has also increased significantly during this period.
“It is extremely important to observe dogs closely and identify changes in behavior, as some changes can be a sign of health problems that can have serious consequences if not identified and treated in a timely manner. Diagnosing canine health problems often depends on the owner’s description of specific symptoms that they have noticed. A single piece of information can make a huge difference, ”advises Dr. Benjamin Razic (DVM).
For example, Changes in eating habits or sudden laziness can indicate a variety of diseases. Under normal circumstances, it can be difficult for a dog owner to notice these changes in their pet. They usually don’t spend as much time with their dogs as they did during this pandemic.
Spending more time together has resulted in stronger bonds between dogs and their owners. Isolation and loneliness during the pandemic caused many people to have their first dog. According to animal shelters, interest in adopting dogs, especially puppies, has increased tremendously during this time.
“Life is more exciting with a dog. Science has confirmed that our four-legged companions make us happier and healthier and that the benefits of this camaraderie are mutual, ”concludes Dr. Elvira Sefo (DVM).
Can COVID-19 be transmitted between humans and dogs?
Many dog owners were very curious about COVID-19 in dogs and the possibility of transmitting this virus from humans to dogs and vice versa. Although It is not impossible for dogs to become infected with COVID-19A very small number of such cases have been reported. “The media used the term ‘coronavirus’ for COVID-19 a lot, which has created confusion for some dog owners. Scientifically, the term “coronavirus” refers to a group of viruses that includes both COVID-19 and the CCoV virus, which causes an infectious canine disease called coronavirus, but which should not be confused with COVID-19. The risk of transmitting COVID-19 from humans to dogs and vice versa is very low, “notes Dr. Anida Dinarevic (DVM).
Among many other reasons, such as the advancement of technology and the rise of active internet users in the US, the pandemic is also a reason online vet consultations peaked in 2020. Many online dog health magazines like DogMD.net have doubled the usual number of visitors to their websites. Also, many animal shelters have created or redesigned their websites due to the increased demand for dog adoption.
Animal health organizations recommend checking out online dog health advice
Online health articles are often written by unqualified authors. The fact is that medical advice (online and offline) should only be given by qualified individuals with a medical background. anything else is illegal. Many kennel clubs and animal health organizations recommend always checking that a source is credible. Use extra caution when making recommendations for using home or human medicines on dogs. In most cases this is a bad idea. And don’t be stubborn – if an online article you come across advises you to take your dog to the vet, go for it!
Name of the company: DogMD.net
Interlocutor: Anita Vrdoljak
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Country: United States