Keeping your pets safe during the pandemic
submitted by VCA Neshaminy
For pet owners, preparing ahead of time is key.
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.
Other appropriate practices include not letting pets interact with people or other animals outside of your household.
Try keeping cats indoors, when possible, to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
It’s important to walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least six feet from other people and animals.
Also try avoiding dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
If you are ill with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed with a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with other people.
Try and have another member of your family care for your pets while you’re sick and avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
If you must care for your pet while you are sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
While we are recommending these as good practices, it is important to remember that there is no evidence at this time that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus.
Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be very low. Accordingly, there is no reason to remove pets from homes where COVID-19 has been identified in members of the household, unless there is risk that the pet itself is not able to be cared for appropriately. Because of the increase in adoptions of shelter pets and people being more in tune to their pet’s needs during this pandemic, space and appointments are limited at most veterinary offices.
Please be patient when calling because phone lines are busier than normal and understand that it may take a few days for your pet to be scheduled for an appointment.
In this pandemic emergency, pets and people need the support of each other and veterinarians are here to help support the good health of both.
PHOTO CAP: One of VCA Neshaminy’s house cats, Spencer, outfitted for the pandemic.