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COVID-19: We're all in this together PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Saturday, 21 March 2020 08:05

The best way to protect ourselves - and our pets - is to WASH OUR HANDS!

Although there is no current evidence that suggests the coronavirus can be transmitted to or from companion animals, it's always a good idea to follow basic hygiene practices around animals. This includes washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day and before and after direct contact with your pets, their food or their supplies.

DESIGNATE AN EMERGENCY CAREGIVER: Proactively identify someone who could help with their short- or long-term care in the event you are unable to care for your pet. Consider a family member, friend, neighbor or your favorite boarding facility.

STOCK UP ON PET SUPPLIES: Prepare a kit with essential supplies to have on hand in the event of an emergency. Your emergency kit should include a 30-day supply of your pets' medications, as well as at least two weeks' worth of food.

CREATE A PET DOSSIER: If your emergency caregiver's assistance is needed, make it easier for them by having all of your pets' information in one place. Consider including things like habits, food preferences, medical conditions and medications taken, veterinarian contact information, and any behavioral tendencies.At this time, experts believe it is very unlikely. The World Health Organization currently advises that there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. 

Although pets cannot become sick from COVID-19, could they serve as a conduit of infection between people?

Yes. It is possible that a person with COVID-19 could sneeze or otherwise contaminate their pet, and then another individual could touch that animal and contract the disease. Veterinary experts believe the risk for transmission would be low. However, animals living with sick individuals should be kept away from other people and animals (quarantined at home), just as people who live with sick individuals must avoid contact with others. The CDC recommends that you restrict contact with pets if you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would restrict your contact with other people. Avoid snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. When interacting with your pets, wash your hands before and after, and wear a face mask.

If I am ill with COVID-19 are there special precautions I should take to prevent spreading disease?

If you are showing symptoms or declared positive with COVID-19, you need to be careful to avoid transmitting it to other people. Applying some commonsense measures can help prevent that from happening.

  • Stay at home except to get medical care and call ahead before visiting your doctor.
  • Minimize your contact with other people, including separating yourself from other members of your household who are not ill; using a different bathroom, if available; and wearing a facemask when you are around other people or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider's office.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before touching your face, and use hand sanitizer.
  • Use a tissue if you need to cough or sneeze and dispose of that tissue in the trash.
  • When coughing or sneezing, do so into your elbow or sleeve rather than directly at another person.

Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended you take the same common-sense approach when interacting with your pets or other animals in your home, including service animals. You should tell your physician and public health official that you have a pet or other animals in your home.

What should I do to prepare for my pet's care in the event I do become ill?

Identify another person in your household who is willing and able to care for your pet in your home should you contract COVID-19. Make sure you have an emergency kit prepared, with at least two weeks' worth of your pet's food and any needed medications. Usually, we think about emergency kits like this in terms of what might be needed for an evacuation, but it's also good to have one prepared in the case of quarantine or self-isolation when you cannot leave your home.

My pet or service animal needs to go to the veterinarian – what should I do?

If you are not ill with COVID-19 or another communicable disease (e.g., cold, flu), call your veterinarian to make an appointment for your pet or service animal as you normally would.  If you are sick with COVID-19 or another communicable disease, you should stay at home, minimizing contact with other people, until you are well.  If you believe your pet or service animal is ill, please seek assistance from your veterinarian and public health officials to determine how to best ensure your pet or service animal can be appropriately cared for while minimizing risks of transmitting COVID-19 to others.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 March 2020 09:50
 


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