The number of Coronavirus or COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is increasing daily with confirmed cases in almost every state, including our home state of Vermont. Of course, this leaves us concerned for our family and friends but let’s not forget about our furry friends who also need our love and care.
According to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence at this time that cats or dogs can get sick from COVID-19. However, there are still certain steps that you can take to provide the best care for yourself and your pets in times of crisis. What follows are recommendations for caring for your four-legged friend throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.
1. Share the Pet Care
The CDC recommends avoiding contact with pets if you or a family member has been diagnosed with COVID-19. More specifically, the CDC suggests avoiding petting, snuggling and kissing animals while you’re sick. We know how hard that it is to do but it can prevent the disease from being transferred via their fur, collar or toys. By delegating pet care, you can help prevent the spread of the virus to a family member or anyone that comes into contact with your pets.
2. Wash Your Hands Before and After Contact
Coronavirus spreads from person to person and pets aren’t at risk of illness. But, the virus can linger on contaminated surfaces like your pet’s fur, making it possible that cats and dogs can carry the disease on them.
That’s why it’s essential to practice good hygiene by washing your hands before and after caring for your pets. You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Following these guidelines may help prevent the virus from being carried or transmitted by your pet. The CDC also suggests wearing a well-fitted mask when caring for pets when you’re sick.
3. Have a Plan in Place
It’s important to prepare for your pet’s needs in the event you or a family member is diagnosed with Coronavirus. It’ll be stressful enough without worrying about caring for your pet. Plan in advance by following these simple steps to avoid panicking if you or a loved one is diagnosed with COVID-19:
- Ask a friend or family member to take care of your pet if you’re sick and under quarantine.
- Contact your vet or a boarding facility to determine if they can take your cat or dog.
- Gather your pet’s supplies, including food, medication and toys in case you need to leave quickly.
- Ensure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and they have an ID tag.
Our fur balls can be a source of great comfort in times of stress. But, it’s best to leave your pet’s care to someone else if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns about your pet’s care and health.