Who has an unusual amount of bog roll and baked beans in the cupboards? Crazy isn’t it? I wasn’t going to write on Covid-19 and jump on what seems like some weird band wagon but working in the health sector and pet food sector, I thought it might be helpful as I’ve been contacted quite a lot about it today. Seeing the conflicting advice, theories and offerings of some ‘odd and sometimes helpful titbits', I wanted to give some nuggets of wisdom (hopefully some tasty nuggets).
Whilst this is not my statement, I thought it was an interesting philosophy taken from ancient Vedic principles. And it goes something like this. A virus is seen to be a cleansing tool. To help reset and put things back into balance, creating an equilibrium. When we look at what has been going on in the world, perhaps this isn’t far from the reasoning? Viruses are changing and proliferating in different ways and this has partly been put down to our environment and global warming. The earth and mother nature intrinsically operate in a clever way, we know they like balance and order. Who knows… but it’s certainly got me thinking.
Anyway, I will be covering tips to keep yourself healthy and SANE during this time and to keep your pet healthy and happy too.
What is Corona and how can it pass around?
There are a number of corona viruses known to be carried by many different species. Covid-19 simply got its name from it arising in 2019, not from there being 19 different types of virus which has been speculated online.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not have any evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread Covid-19 to humans. Please read further if you wish to know more about the findings. Whilst many species including dogs can carry different corona viruses, they haven’t seen any behaviour to tell us otherwise.
If you are self-isolating because you currently have a ‘cold’, confirmed Covid-19 or are ‘at risk’, you are recommended to self-isolate and everyone else to limit social contact and not to see those that may be infected or at risk. We all know this much right?
Covid-19 can apparently live on surfaces for up to 72 hours according to scientists (we think this is how it can potentially be incredibly infectious). I have heard this could possibly be up to a week but this is not confirmed.
Whilst we can currently take our dogs out for a walk, with the above in mind. Keeping dogs wiped down before and after a walk is essential for you and others. I am not stating dogs are responsible for the spread. I am saying, imagine if you stroke or sneeze on your dog (or vice versa), they carry the virus on their coat and then someone outside of your home, strokes your dog. If you touch things outside of the house or stroke a dog, don’t touch your face and wash your hands as soon as you are home.I am not saying don't fuss and touch your dog but be aware that we can spread by contact. The virus is slippery and passed on easily. Keep your distance at 10 feet whilst outside, if possible.
Wash your hands frequently and on entering and exiting your home. PERIOD. It stays on clothes and hair so best to have a shower after coming in and washing your clothes every time if you have been in close contact with people.
Wear gloves when you fill up your petrol tank.
I think the best we can currently do is to support one and other, be kind, be of service, think of others and keep the vulnerable people as safe and catered for as possible. In these times we see some incredibly selfish people operating from a place of fear but we also see many acts of kindness, humility and some fabulous humour. Let’s focus on those beautiful peeps.
The WHO and the Government have given you the main actions to take, so I am not going to repeat this. I specialise in lifestyle choices, immune function and supplements, so here are my nuggets.
1. Keep active
Go for a walk every day, get fresh air and keep moving to boost serotonin levels for mood, immunity and a good night’s sleep. Whilst outside, keep away from people as much as 10 steps if you can. Exercise helps reduce stress, we know that.
If you are completely house bound but want to exercise, sign up to a great online workout app like Instructor Live. It’s as cheap as chips per month, especially if you can put your gym membership on hold.
Panicking and being stressed lowers the immune system significantly.
Meditation is an exceptional way to manage stress and immunity.
Consider downloading the app Headspace or Calm. Meditators are officially 31% less likely to catch viruses.
3. Stay Connected
I sometimes hear older generations saying the internet has changed things and not so much for the better. Whilst I have short moments of agreement, this is not one of those times. We can stay connected as much as we like with being online. We can Skype, Zoom, Facetime, phone call and goodness knows what. Many companies and intructors are offering online classes and meditation groups. We have never been so connected.
Whilst this is good and you need to stay abreast of what is going on, I think staying away from too much news and social media is not a bad thing. Its currently on repeat. Children may be worried so if we can curtail usage (I know this may be impossible being housebound so no judgement) but if you can, I think this is better for everyone’s mental health.
4. Stay Productive
Whilst staying in your jammies is a real temptation, you are best to get up, shower, walk,come home, assign jobs to yourself, help others and think about the things you wanted to get done that you never had time for. I am going to clear out my closest although I work from home so I will probably just work more.
5. Healthy Food
Try and keep food as nourishing and as fresh as possible. Buy up some fresh food and cook in batches to freeze if you have the space. Even buying in some frozen vegs and berries is a good way to add in your five a day. Think smoothies where you can buy in healthy protein powder sources, flaxseed or hempseed oils. Some good ideas can be found at:
6. Drink plenty of Water
Stay hydrated. Anyone who reads my blogs, will know I am an advocate of fresh and filtered water. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lucky we have drinkable water and we won’t runout of tap water, so please don’t think I am preaching to you about having to have clean water. If you can filter your water, this is a better option but if not,no biggie for the time being. Unfortunately, a lot of tap water contains toxins such as chlorine, fluoride, aluminIum, nitrates, insecticides, herbicides, prescription medications and more. Just needed to say…sorry! According to your weight in kilos, you should multiply each kilo by 0.03 and this will tell you how many litres you need to consume a day.
7. Give Back (feedback system)
I know everyone will be worried about income, job stability, business buoyancy and so on but I am hoping that not only the government will help but also there will be ways to try and overcome this. I spoke to a wonderful friend the other day who said she and others have and are setting up a go fund me page to support Covid-19 damage for workers and those self-isolated. This is designed to help bring in financial support for people losing money and also support those who are vulnerable. I am not entirely sure how this is going to work out logistically but it’s worth exploring.
8. Support your Immune System
Many of you will be feeling a little lost and worried. Supporting your anxiety, immunity and general well-being is essential in these times. Some of you can have an under functioning or overly sensitive immune system due to a number of factors. Those of you need to take all of the precautions, keep as isolated as is possible but also looking to good, fresh food and supplements to help modulate immune function. I have posted the supplements I use, with research to back it up:
Here are some products I recommend. Please know this is not to be taken as medical advice or personal consultation.
Probiotics; good bacteria may protect against virus as probiotics elicit many immune responses. Although further detailed research is necessary probiotics and are expected to be among the rational adjunctive options for the treatment of various viral diseases. I love Biocare’s probiotic blend called LAB4.There’s a huge amount of research around it and can support immunity in a number of ways.
Ashwaganda; is a wonderful adaptogenic, Ayurvedic herb for anxiety stress and immunity. It can certainly help in times of need when one is releasing extra cortisol due to the bodies ‘stress response’. I love PukkaHerbs (you may well know the teas) for this beautiful herb but they offer herbs in organic capsule and powder form also.
Vitamin C; in megadoses (5-8 grams of vitamin C) administered before or after the appearance of a cold and flu can reduce or even prevent symptoms. I particularly like liposomal vitamin C as it stays present in the body for longer, to be utilised effectively. That said one can constantly give themselves small doses of 500mg-1gram every couple of hours and it doesn't need to be liposomal to be good. I like Vitamin C 500mg from Biocare, liposomal vitamin C Zooki and liposomal vitamin C by Coyne Health Care.
Vitamin D; is thought to protect against respiratory infections by boosting levels of antimicrobial peptides in the lungs (natural antibiotic-like substances). This may also explain why vitamin D may protect against asthma attacks, which are commonly triggered by respiratory viruses. I love Bio Mulsion D by Biocare as it is made water soluble and easily absorbed (by nature fat soluble vitamins are difficult to absorb).
Andrographis; is a plant that is native to South Asian countries such as India and Sri Lanka and a commonly used Ayurvedic medicine. Andrographis is well known for preventing and treating the common cold and flu (influenza). Pukka produce a lovely organic Andrographis that I highly recommend.
Looking after your pet during Covid 19
Feeding optimal food is always best.
Home cooked, fresh and raw are great. If you are worried about the pet's fresh or raw food fitting into the freezer, there are some wonderful companies out there that don’t require freezing but still offer fresh, cooked and in some cases raw food.
That said a lot of raw food companies in the U.K are operating as usual so don’t panic if you are worried about supply. Contact your supplier to confirm.
If you require more freezer space or can’t get your pet’s usual food. Look at Rocketo for anyone living in Europe, this is a European based company who have been around for about a year now. This makes them shelf stable and something you can pop in the cupboard easily.
If you are in America some wonderful brands that offer fresh, cooked or raw are then freeze dried, dehydrated and air dried to lock in freshness.
Stella and Chewys, Steve’s real food and Honest Kitchen are just a few. See as follows.
If you are in Australia or New Zealand, I would recommend K9 and Ziwi Peak. Both raw and air dried/freeze dried.
Walking for now is permitted and good for you and your dog for mental and physical well- being. Try and keep social distancing though.
Pet wipes (natural are fine) are handy. You could unknowingly place the virus on your pet’s coat. Wiping them down before and after a walk is a good call. Especially if someone tries to stay away from you but strokes your pet.
Give plenty of cuddles, it’s good for your stress levels and immunity and it’s great for them. Especially if the walks are less or on lockdown. Please bear in mind what I have previously mentioned about wiping your pets over before and after a walk.
Keeping cats in for 2 weeks, if you are infected. You don’t know who is stroking your cat, letting your cat into their homes and likewise. If you do let them out, possibly think about wiping them down before and after to minimise them carrying it on their coat (if possible).
The take home is to be incredibly careful but try and keep stress levels down, be kind and know we are going to pull through this. If anyone is fearful or concerned, let someone know. It's good to talk.
I hope this helped. If you cat or dog is un well and in need of a great nutritional and supplemental regime, we are here to help, as always.