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How To Talk To Your Dog About The Ebola Virus

As the mass hysteria reaches all new heights in the outbreak of the Ebola virus I thought we should all take a step back and have a little fun with a serious but out of control situation.

**Please note I am not making light of this situation. Wait…..yes I am because it has been all over the news, in my news feed and on my radio and I can’t take it anymore.

So the Ebola virus is apparently here in the U.S.

Actually, it was here or is here. In my state. One county over.

About 30 minutes south of me which means that someone I know….. knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who may have had contact with the person infected with Ebola who traveled to Ohio at some point in time somewhere.

Which means absolutely nothing but since the media thinks it does and some local schools and shops were closed and people stopped going to work and experts recommended that I talk to my kids about Ebola I thought I should also have a talk with Sherman and Leroy about it because they are family too.

My kids weren’t very concerned about the Ebola virus when I sat down and talked to them about it. They know what’s going on because it’s been plastered everywhere but luckily my kids are pretty chill when it comes to things like this so our talk basically began and ended how every flu season talk goes:

Life goes on. Wash your hands and then wash them some more.

My conversation with Sherman and Leroy was a little more in depth because Sherman is a germ freak and Leroy’s just careless about germs.


So here are my main tips if you find the need to have a special talk about Ebola with your dog.

  1. Find a nice quite spot free from distractions. Obviously you don’t want to have the Ebola talk with your dog at the local dog park. You need their full attention. Get eye level with them. For me that means sitting on chair but for those of you with small or medium sized dogs that may mean sitting on the floor.
  2. Remain calm. Dogs know when their humans are nervous so talk in your calm voice and don’t play with your hands. In fact, just sit on your hands if you think this will be a problem. Bring some healthy treats to keep them interested. The Ebola talk may be boring for some dogs who have places to go and people to see.
  3. Keep to the facts. Read it straight from the CDC website if you must. The Ebola virus is considered a zoonotic disease which means that it can be transferred from animals to people but it’s rare and dogs don’t show symptoms of the Ebola virus like humans do. There’s not enough information to support any clear claims. Explain to them that this virus has been around for several years but it’s spreading to different areas that have never seen it before.
  4. Don’t talk about the poor dog that was euthanized in Spain. It’s was very sad and very unnecessary but we don’t want to induce panic in our own dogs.  I told Sherman and Leroy about the men in crazy suits that may come to get them and put them in quarantine if I got Ebola. When Sherman started twitching I realized that was a mistake so I went with my plan 2 and showed him the “safe spot” that I built for them in the woods behind our house. It’s called the Ebola Safe House and it’s complete with beds. fresh running water and a pantry stocked with dog food and treats. They are to go there if men in protective gear ever come to get me. They are not to leave the Ebola Safe House until I have been treated and released and give them my secret call. I can not tell you what the secret call is because then it wouldn’t be a secret. You will have to come up with your own if need be.
  5. Continue proper hygiene. Wipe up your slobber and wash your paws. No licking other dog’s private parts, no pee licking and no eating dog poop. Do not share water bowls or swap spit with dogs who may have owners who have come in contact with the Ebola virus
  6. Limit their media exposure. Don’t watch TV or surf the net when your dog is close by. They don’t need the added stress. Instead take them for a walk or play a game of hide and seek.

Embrace this chance to educate your dogs about current events in the world.

So what do you think? Do you have any tips on how to talk your dog about the Ebola virus?

**Because I must put this in here. I’m aware that the Ebola virus is a serious thing and of course I’m following it to a certain extent but I do think the media has taken it a bit far and that’s all I’m going to say about that. 


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Sunday 26th of October 2014

The joy of not having cable or getting the newspaper is that I only hear about ebola when I specifically check for it. I have been following ebola news off and on, but only when I choose to. :) Thanks for the humor, I am sure it is much needed!

Here is your official invite to NaNoWoofMo, I hope you join us! It was so fun last year:


Friday 24th of October 2014

You really made me laugh. I promise not to have "the talk" at the dog park. Hehehehehehehe!

Jackie Bouchard

Wednesday 22nd of October 2014

Hysterical! The Ebola Safe House. What a riot. I'll try to sit Rita down tonight, but... she's not the smartest puppy in the litter. I might have to do up some simple drawings for her. Words like "zoontonic" will be lost on her.


Wednesday 22nd of October 2014

What shall I do with you dear sister??? Your sense of humor is truly what makes you you! Glad you posted it! Can u talk to Meesha for me?


Wednesday 22nd of October 2014

Thank you for adding a little humor to the situation! I keep getting the official emails at work since the nurse was visiting relatives who work on one of our campuses. I can't even read them because I'm enough of a hypochondriac that if I read the emails that are supposed to diffuse the panic, I'll end up with psychological ebola! I gave Barley the advice one of my co-workers gave her students: don't lick anything and if it's wet and not yours, don't touch it.

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