News channels and social media outlets are flooding your everyday life with information about the latest coronavirus, COVID-19. With hand washing tips, social distancing methods, and quarantine protocols filling your head, you may have little room left for worrying about your pet’s risk potential. Fortunately, keeping your pet safe from COVID-19 is relatively simple, because there is no evidence yet to indicate pets can develop illness, or serve as an infection source of this novel coronavirus. Take the following steps, to ensure your entire family remains healthy and safe.
Step 1: Follow reputable sources for current COVID-19 information
Rather than wading through pools of public opinions, stick with reputable animal and human health organizations for your latest COVID-19 updates. The following health agencies have the most current, data-driven COVID-19 information:
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
For more information about COVID-19, and its potential effect on your pet’s health condition, contact us.
Step 2: Brush up on coronavirus knowledge
While many species, including dogs, cats, birds, horses, and people, can be infected with coronavirus, few are transmitted from animals to people and vice versa. COVID-19’s origins are thought to be from bats, but after jumping to people, the virus has become a human coronavirus, spread only through person-to-person contact. COVID-19 is highly unlikely to affect your dog or cat, unless the virus undergoes a mutation to infect pets. Instead, your pet may be infected with an enteric strain that causes self-limiting diarrhea, or your dog may be affected by a respiratory strain linked to some kennel cough cases. Since these coronavirus strains are species-specific, you cannot get a coronavirus infection from your pet.
Step 3: Understand how COVID-19 is transmitted
COVID-19 developed as a human coronavirus, and is primarily spread by person-to-person contact from coughing. A secondary transmission method can occur when contacting contaminated surfaces, such as countertops, door handles, and light switches. Although pets cannot directly infect people, they can carry pathogens on their fur, leashes, and collars, which makes proper hygiene critical around pets, as well as people.
Step 4: Stock up on your pet’s supplies
As more of the country enters quarantine mode, stock up on your pet’s necessities when you shop for your own. Ensure you have a 30-day supply of food, treats, litter, waste bags, and medications. If your pet needs refills for daily medications, or heartworm, flea, and tick prevention, use our online pharmacy to have prescriptions shipped directly to your home.
Step 5: Stay safe indoors with your pet
Although cabin fever may be setting in, avoid taking your pooch out to dog parks, busy neighborhood streets, or city parks for exercise. Instead, create new activities for your pet. Ditch the food dish, and feed your pet from a puzzle feeder, or hide kibble in a small room for your furry pal to hunt. Dust off your pup’s obedience skills, devise new tricks, or build an indoor agility course. For your feline friend, set up a climbing tower in front of a window for prime bird-watching, or cater to her predator instincts, with a game designed to entice her into stalking and pouncing.
Step 6: Connect with a pet sitter or dog walker in case of an emergency
If you become ill, the CDC recommends that someone else cares for your pet, to limit potential transmission through indirect contact. Ideally, a friend or family member in a different household would care for your pet, but you may need to hire a pet sitter or dog walker. If you are ill, the same rules apply—refrain from kissing, hugging, or sharing food with your pet, and wash your hands thoroughly before and after contact.
Step 7: Contact TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Paw Creek if your pet becomes ill
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, and your pet becomes ill, contact us for assistance. To limit potential disease transmission, download our app, and use our telemedicine service. We can discuss your pet’s illness, diagnostic testing, and possible treatment plan through our app. You will also need your local public health official’s guidance if you are ill, and your pet also becomes ill.
As the COVID-19 situation changes, we may update our policies to ensure the safety of our team, patients, and clients. Before heading to our hospital, call us for our most current precautions that will help keep our community healthy.