With coronavirus, or COVID-19, dominating the headlines, you might be wondering, “How does this affect me and my pet?” The truth is, there is still a great deal we don’t know about this novel virus.
Here’s what we do know:
- At this time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) say there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. Nor is there currently any evidence that we can transmit the virus to them.
Now that cases of COVID 19 are being reported in the U.S., the main objective is to prevent the disease’s spread, and there are several steps you can take to minimize its impact on your family. Our advice to our pet parent clients is very similar to that of what your primary physician might recommend and follows closely the guidelines put forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
- WASH YOUR HANDS – use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and especially after coughing, sneezing, contact with others or with animals. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- If you have any symptoms of respiratory illness, stay home and restrict your contact with your companion or livestock animals. If you are diagnosed as being infected with COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.
- Utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment; gloves etc. is helpful as well. Reduction of exposure to unsanitary areas will further reduce potential transmission.
- Know the symptoms – they are similar to influenza: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In pets, symptoms may also be digestive, so watch for diarrhea, and general lethargy, If you notice any of these, your pet should be seen by a vet immediately.
- Stock up on your pet’s medication. As the disease progresses around the globe, pharmaceuticals might be hard to come by. And in the event of a home quarantine situation, you don’t want to run out.
Bottom line? Plan ahead, be responsible, and don’t panic. If you’d like more information about COVID 19 and pets, check out this article from the American Medical Veterinary Association. And you’re always welcome to contact us at 502-996-8466 with questions or concerns.