Can Boston Terriers Get COVID-19? How To Adapt To New Life

With all the chaos of late, we are all experiencing many changes to our day to day life.

This may include changes in routine, heightened anxiety, staying home from work or school, and limited contact with the outside world. 

boston terrier helping at work. boston terrier working from home.
Nickel helping me with my work… I don’t think she is as enamored with it as I am!

Our Boston Terriers are affected by all these changes, and we should not underestimate the stress that this can have on them too. 

The Coronavirus And How To Adapt To This New Lifestyle

We are all in unchartered territory when it comes to self quarantining and being home all day.

Today I’m breaking down the coronavirus’s impact on Boston Terriers and the many indirect effects it has on our beloved dogs and us.

Can Boston Terriers Get The Coronavirus?

At this time, you should have very little concern about your Boston Terrier contracting COVID-19. 

The Center For Disease Control and Prevention has cited that there are no known cases for domestic pets having COVID-19. Even in parts of the world with high rates of virus-like Italy.

However, COVID-19 is not to be confused with other strains of the coronavirus. COVID-19 is the current strain that is affecting us on a global level, there are many different strains of this type of virus. 

While COVID-19 Is New, The Coronavirus Is Not

Many dogs are actually vaccinated against certain strains of coronavirus at a young age.

However, the strain your dog is vaccinated for is an entirely different beast of its own and typically affects the gastrointestinal system rather than the respiratory system like COVID-19 does. 

If your Boston Terrier has not received the coronavirus vaccine for that strain and you’re worried, you may talk to your veterinarian to see if they think this is a viable option still.

Once again, the coronavirus vaccine puppies receive is not a vaccine against the current COVID-19 strain. 

Should I Stop Petting And Kissing My Boston Terrier?

Boston terrier kissing
Bella the Boston Terrier kissing Sofia.

Some parts of the world have recommended that owners be cautious about kissing or petting their dogs. 

However, the American Kennel Club considers kissing or petting your Boston a low risk and beneficial action for both of you. 

You should consider washing your hands after petting them or having your fingers in their mouth, but this is generally recommended advice and nothing new.

I’m certainly not about to slow down petting or kissing my Boston Terrier, Nickel! 

A Change Of Environment During These Times

Our world is in chaos at the moment. And this has created many environmental changes for our families and us. 

Whether you are suddenly working from home, having kids home from school, or simply staying inside much more, this all has an effect on our Boston Terriers. 

Boston Terriers are very sharp and sensitive dogs, they will pick up on our stress levels and the changes to their environment. If they are used to being home alone all day, this could be a significant shock for them. 

Nickel definitely picks up on my stress levels and goes from hyper and active to very mellow and trepid. It’s important that we minimize, but take care of, our own anxieties to help our dogs.

boston terrier helping at work. Boston terrier working from home.
Nickel feeling a little anxious about all this, but still trying to help me work like a trooper.

How Dogs Pick Up On Our Anxiety And Stress Levels

Dogs are very good at reading our emotions, tone of voice, and body language. When we’re stressed, their cortisol (stress) levels rise too. 

It’s even been shown that cortisol spikes are recorded in our Boston Terrier’s fur, and long term stress will likely affect their health too. 

This is why we must watch out for our lovely fur friends during these tough times!

Signs Your Boston Terrier Is Anxious

Boston Terriers show anxiety in many ways, but here are a few clues for you to look out for to determine if they may be having increased anxiety:

  • Restlessness, pacing, or very repetitive motions
  • Sudden change in personality, such as increased aggressiveness
  • Drooling or panting
  • Destroying things 
  • Barking
  • Seeming very depressed and lethargic

For more information, see one of our pieces discussing different signs of anxiety and solutions.

How To Keep Your Boston Terrier’s Anxiety Down

If you notice your Boston Terrier having increased anxiety during this time, try to check your own anxiety and stress levels. 

Be soft and reassuring with them, and try to bring back any familiar routines or favorite toys. Consider talking to your veterinarian for medical advice if their anxiety spikes significantly. 

I currently give my Boston Terrier, Nickel, melatonin treat supplements. The brand I use is Naturvet Quiet Moments, these work wonders for her anxiety during storms or stressful situations like these. 

This seems to really soothe her, along with getting plenty of exercise!

Here are some other calming chews you can find on Amazon. I hope this helps.

Keeping Your Boston Terrier On A Routine Will Help Reduce Anxiety During This Coronavirus Outbreak

Before all this began, consider your dog’s regular routine. 

  • Were they home alone all day? 
  • Did they go to a kennel with other dogs? 
  • Are they used to having one person home but not your whole family? 
  • Etc…

Think about the significant shifts in your Boston Terrier’s routine since this upset and consider what you can do to bring normalcy back.

They may be thrilled to have you or more people at home all the time, but this unusual amount of people around can also wear them down and cause them to feel overwhelmed. 

One Routine You Can Build In Is Crating Or Giving Them Quite Time

Try crating your dog, putting them in their playpen, or another room to sleep, giving them mandated breaks. 

Our dogs primarily sleep when we’re not home, so it’s not mean of you to force them to take a reprieve. 

Don’t feel bad if you need to take a break from them too, it’s a lot of new changes for many of us, and we must try to keep some of our own regular routines. 

boston terrier playing tug of war and exercising
Nickel’s favorite way of keeping me exercised when I’m home!

Ways To Keep Your Boston Terrier Exercised When You Can’t Go Out

Many of us are entirely quarantined at home and can’t walk our dogs. Exercise is so crucial for our puppies and us, especially during stressful times.

It may also be harder to manage your Boston Terrier at home if you don’t allow them to exercise. They need to burn off some of that energy building up in them. 

Use this time to come up with creative solutions for playing indoors and getting some exercise for both of you. 

Here are a few of my favorite indoor exercises:

  • Ball play! Nickel could play ball until she collapses if we let her. This does wear her out and allow her to run around the house and get some extra energy out. If you have a hallway or area that you can toss a ball around, your Boston Terrier will love it!
  • Puzzle games or toys! Nickel loves her puzzle toys, and they mentally stimulate her and allow her the fun of finding the hidden treat. 
  • Playing with other toys! Pull out a toy and play tug of war with your Boston Terrier. Break a sweat while seeing how determined and excited they are to win against you. 

Keep yourself and your Boston Terrier as active as possible to keep both of you moving and less stressed while we cope with this outbreak. 

Your puppy will thank you!

For more great indoor exercise ideas, see our previous article on indoor winter exercises, 20 Exercises You Can Do During Winter.

Take Some Time To Retrain Your Boston Terrier

Check out this cute Boston who knows all sorts of tricks.

Another fantastic way to mentally stimulate your Boston Terrier is to take the time to retrain them while you’re home so much. 

If you aren’t typically home all day, this is an excellent opportunity to retrain them on anything they’ve been slacking off on or to teach them a new trick.

The feeling of success you will both gain from learning or re-learning a new skill will be enough to distract both of you from current events. 

Take some fun, one on one time, and revisit things that you’ve been meaning to do for a while with your Boston Terrier. 

If you want to take 30 days to teach your Boston 30 things here is an online training program you can try out. The basic 30-day training is $60.00 with online videos, Here Is More Information About The 30 Day Training Course.

How To Focus On Work While Home With Your Boston Terrier

I’m personally used to working out of my home. Other than not leaving the house as much, my routine isn’t really affected. 

However, if you are used to working outside the home, having your dog and possibly spouse or kids home can be highly distracting. 

Here is a video of a dad who gets interrupted by his kids during a BBC interview. Caution: If you have kids, you will die laughing.

If you’re struggling to get through your work with all the added stress and distractions, consider some of these tips: 

  • Use the power of naptime! Whether this is referring to your Boston Terrier or children, utilize naptime or off-hours, like early mornings or late evenings when they may be asleep, to power through your work. Alternatively, having designated quiet time could also help.
  • Don’t be afraid to crate your Boston Terrier! Your Boston Terrier would be napping anyway. Do not feel guilty for placing them in another room or in their crate temporarily to have a break while you work. They will be fine and just as happy to see you an hour later. 
  • Trade-off! If you have a spouse or older child at home with you, take turns with your Boston Terrier if they are distracting you. This will keep your Boston Terrier entertained while giving you chunks of time to work distraction-free.
  • Have Your Kids Help! If your kids are old enough, give them a job to do by having them feed or play with your Boston Terrier. This is a two for one, as you will have both your kid/s and Boston Terrier entertained at once while you work.
  • Keep Your Boston Terrier Entertained! When they are not sleeping, Boston Terriers are pretty active, so make sure you are exercising them and keeping them stimulated as much as possible. See some of our above tips!
Boston Terrier Sleeping by a desk.
Nickel staying nice and calm as she snoozes near my desk.

How Your Boston Terrier Can Keep YOU Calm

Not only can we help our dogs stay calm during these times, but they will likely help us out even more! 

Having a dog around has been linked to lower blood pressure, lower rates of depression and anxiety, and a longer, happier life. 

One of our needs as humans is touch. Our Boston Terriers can undoubtedly fill this need. Nickel is very touchy-feely and always crawling into my lap, sleeping with me, and nuzzling my leg while I work.

By exercising, having their companionship, and mimicking their “live in the moment” attitude, our Boston Terriers are truly setting us up for less anxiety and stress.

Take some extra time for yourself during this outbreak and cuddle with your dog, pet them, and let them love you back. You’re almost guaranteed to feel better mentally and physically after doing so!

Read more about how cuddling with your Boston Terrier can improve your life and health.

What To Do When You Go Back To Work 

Some of our Boston Terriers have separation anxiety, so when we return back to work, their separation anxiety may flare up again. 

If you anticipate this happening, try transitioning them back to their regular routine as much as possible beforehand. 

If they were alone for hours a day, try having them in another room for increasing periods of time to avoid the shock of you going back to work. Giving them a safe area and blankets to cuddle in can help them feel more at ease as well. 

See our full separation anxiety article here for more excellent tips on helping your Boston Terrier cope. 

Gradually weaning them back to their regular routine will help with this potential anxiety flareup. 

Remain Calm, And Your Pup Will Thank You!

Everyone is experiencing heightened stress during these turbulent times. Focus on keeping yourself, your family, and your Boston Terrier as calm as possible with normal routines and paying attention for any signs that their anxiety is mounting. 

Stay alert, but not anxious, and feel good in knowing that your Boston Terrier is safe from this particular coronavirus strain! 

Keep calm, and your Boston Terrier will most definitely thank you!

Join The Boston Terrier Community!

Join thousands of Boston Terrier Owners in the Boston Terrier Society Facebook Group. 

Boston Terrier Society Facebook Community

In the group, we share photos, thoughts, and stories. As well as have contests with prizes and more!

This is a fun and friendly group. Feel free to pose any question you have about your Boston Terrier.


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Amy Norton

Amy Norton is a freelance lifestyle blog post writer who spends her days writing with her Boston Terrier at her feet snoring. She grew up with two Boston Terriers and now has her own Boston Terrier, Nickel, who is a spunky and playful dog. Amy regularly takes Nickel to Sonics for mozzarella sticks to "pay" her for all of her help in the writing process. Amy's favorite activities are reading, baking, and creating content for her YouTube channel.

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