How To Care For Your Pets If You Have COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating several cases where pets have appeared to be infected with the Coronavirus by their human caretakers. They don’t believe animals are playing a role in transmitting the virus to humans, although humans can infect animals.
It appears that the source of COVID-19 is a live animal market in Wuhan, China; however, the first case of an animal testing positive for the virus in the United States is a tiger at the Bronx Zoo, who was infected by a member of the zoo’s staff.
What we do know is that Coronavirus is a zoonotic pathogen that has jumped from non-human animals, and it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.
It’s been reported that a minimal number of pets outside the United have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after having contact with people who have been infected themselves.
According to organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the World Organization for Animal Health, at this point, we do not have evidence that animals, and specifically, companion animals such as dogs and cats become ill from this virus. It’s important to remember that viruses can sometimes infect a species but not cause illness in that species, nor become transmissible to others.
So if we can infect our pets with Coronavirus, then how can we care for our pets if we become ill?
WHO, AVMA, CDC, and the Humane Society of the United States, have all recommend following the protocol below.
Pre Prepare A Pet Care Protocol In Case You Become Infected
All pet owners should have a preparedness plan for their pets should they become infected by COVID-19.
- Identify a family member or friend who can care for your pets if you become ill.
- Have crates, food, and extra supplies on hand for movement and relocation of pets if necessary.
- Keep all animal vaccines up to date and have copies of those records available if boarding becomes necessary.
- Ensure that all medications are documented with dosages and administering directions. It’s a good idea to include the prescription from your veterinarian with the medicines.
- Pets should have proper identification: a collar with ID tag and a microchip with current, up-to-date contact information.
If you become infected with Coronavirus, it is recommended that you restrict all contact with your pets, just like you would your family, friends, and other people.
Guidelines For Pet Parents Who Are Infected And Don’t Have Help Caring For Their Pets
If you cannot find someone to care for your pets, then you should follow the guidelines below to help you prevent infecting them.
- Wear a mask
- Wash your hands both before and after your interaction with your pets
- Avoid contact including but not limited to
- Being kissed or licked by
- Sharing food
If you do not have someone to help you care for your pets, should you need to go to the hospital or while you are at home in quarantine, contact your veterinarian or local boarding facility to board them; and be sure to let the facility know that you have tested positive for COVID-19 so they can take extra precautions while caring for your pets.
To learn more about how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, if you are sick, click HERE!
Nicole founded Miami Pet Concierge in May 2007, with a mission to provide Miami, Florida’s pet parents with personalized pet care plans based on their pets’ species, age, breed, health, and lifestyle. All while keeping their pets “happy at home.” In addition, offering pet care education for all pet owners to guide them to become great pet parents.