These are scary times and, as a loving pet parent, you may be wondering how to keep yourself and your pet safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we’ve compiled a list of the things you need to know about COVID-19 and pets.
Is My Pet At Risk Of Getting COVID-19?
It’s highly unlikely that your pet will contract COVID-19.
Per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a small number of pets have had COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19. These numbers are very low, and many of these pets had no symptoms. All pets made full recoveries.
Pet Social Distancing
The CDC recommends keeping all pets indoors and not letting them roam freely.
Your pet is family to you, so treat them like you would other family members. Keep their exposure to others limited. If they come into contact with people outside your household, immediately bathe them. However, please keep in mind that under no circumstances should you put a mask on your pet. Masks are a choking hazard and can be harmful to their breathing.
Walking Your Pet
When walking your pet, keep them on a shorter leash and maintain a six-foot distance from others. Kindly turn down any requests to pet your dog. While well-meaning, COVID-19 can be spread through touch. If someone who unknowingly has COVID-19 pets your dog, and then you pet your dog in the same area, you could come into contact with the virus.
A recent study found that dog owners who walk their pups are 78% more likely to contract COVID-19. It’s currently unknown if this is due to a lack of social distancing measures, some dog parks being open, or pet parents allowing their dog to be touched while out and about. Regardless, it’s crucial that you take extra precautions, like wearing a mask and avoiding dog parks while walking your pup to keep you both safe.
Stock Up On Supplies
If possible, pick up a few extra supplies for your pet now. This will give you a buffer should you get sick or if the store runs out due to shortages.
Plan For The Worst
We never want to think about it, but planning for the worst can give us peace of mind when something happens. Take a moment to plan out preparations, like a pet emergency kit, should you get COVID-19 and need to quarantine.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Who can continue taking my pet to the veterinarian while I’m recovering?
If I’m hospitalized, who can look after my pet? We recommend keeping information on file about your pet’s routine, including medications, dosages, food, and other necessary care information their caretaker will need. We recommend having a copy of this information in your pet emergency kit, just in case.
Who can pick up my pet’s prescriptions? How will I continue getting my pet’s food?
Look into delivery service options for your pet’s food and medications.
Take a moment to sit down and write out your pet’s routine and daily, weekly, and monthly needs, like nail clipping or heartworm supplements, as well as taking a moment to designate an emergency caregiver. This will help you rest easy since you know that your pet will be taken care of should you become ill.
Utilize Mobile Vet Services
To reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, consider using mobile vet services. Many veterinarians are offering telemedicine services. Other services, like grooming, can also be mobile with some services pulling right into your driveway to groom your pet in their mobile grooming van!
While it’s important to keep up with your pet’s regular veterinary care and vaccinations, speak with your veterinarian about the urgency of any upcoming appointments. Some veterinary services can be provided without even taking your pet to the clinic to reduce exposure risk.
Stay Protected With Pet Insurance
Veterinary care is vital, but can quickly become expensive. We’re here to help with that! Get your free, custom dog insurance or cat insurance quote today to help you provide your pet with the best care.