If you’re like me, your pet is part of your family.
When I ask my dogs, “You ready to go night-night?” or “You ready to take a nap with mom?” All three jump up and head into the bedroom. And the same goes for my cats. I think they have a contest amongst themselves to see who can jump up there first.
However, in this age of Coronavirus, those normal routines may be put on hold if I were to start showing symptoms.
And if you have pets, you may be wondering if you should be concerned about your pet(s) if you get diagnosed with COVID-19.
So let’s think about this for a minute.
What To Do If Your Pet Is Exposed to Coronavirus
In an article dated March 30, 2020, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and many shelter intake programs compiled their interim recommendations for how animal shelters should handle pets coming in from COVID-19 homes. Read the full article here.
Although you and I do not live at an animal shelter, there are some crucial things we can gather from their recommendations and that we can use in our own homes.
COVID-19 Precautions You Might Take If You Have Pets
Before we get into the nit and gritty of some precautions you can take if you start getting sick and showing Coronavirus symptoms, know this, you don’t have to give your pet away if you get sick. Or at least you shouldn’t have to. But your routine may temporarily change as you go through your sickness.
According to the article, here are some things I think are important for you, as a pet parent, to think about:
#1 – Limit Close Contact With Your Pet. If you are diagnosed and are in quarantine at home, this is really important.
So what does this look like?
For me, that would mean I’d sleep by myself (yikes) and my pets would sleep in another room and I would wash my bedding more often.
Also, that would mean I’d do my best to limit ALL close contact.
So my dogs wouldn’t be laying on the couch with me and my cats wouldn’t sit on the back of the couch or on my lap as I watch TV.
Ideally, I would be in a separate room from my pets during the quarantine. Even though there is no evidence our pets can get COVID-19 from us and there’s no research proving it’s transferred from person-to-pet-to-person, we want to be as safe as possible.
Additionally, every single time I would come in contact with my pets, I should wash my hands if I have COVID-19. I’d wash them after I prepare their food, after I clean the cat litter boxes and after I let the dogs in/out/in/out to go potty.
#2 – Wear A Face Mask. Your dog may think you’re trying to play a game when you put your face mask on but it isn’t a game. We don’t want to breath on our pets, yes, even though studies say they can’t ‘catch it’ from us, we’re going for our personal record in safety measures 🙂
When you do have contact with your pet, just wear a mask. And keep it as brief as possible. And wash your hands after.
#3 – Have A Friend/Relative Keep Your Pet Temporarily. Don’t panic. This recommendation is just that, a recommendation. However, if you do have a friend or relative that can keep your pet while you’re in quarantine, that is a smart move. This doesn’t mean you have to give your pet to a shelter or put him or her up for adoption.
#4 – Write Out A Pet Emergency Plan. This could be used if things went south with you and you had to go to the hospital or you declined and couldn’t take care of your pet.
Having a written plan like this would be so beneficial to the person that has to step in and take care of your pet. Trust me, as a professional pet sitter, I’ve had to step in and provide pet care for people that are in the hospital and having this information in one place makes it so much easier.
Your Emergency Plan would include things like:
- Your pet’s age, date of birth, color, sex, microchip number (and company info)
- Your pet’s medical history and a list of any behavior issues (doesn’t like other, doesn’t like loud cars, has allergies, etc.)
- What type of food your pet eats and where the food is kept in your house
- A list of any safety issues with your pet (does your dog jump fences, does your cat like to poop on the bed if the litter box isn’t clean)
- Your pet’s veterinarian, include the vet name, number and address
- Alternative caretaker, include their name, their relationship to you, their address and phone number
- If your came from a breeder and the breeder would take your pet back, include their name, address and phone number
- If you have a pet sitter or dog walker, include their information as well. They might be able to step in and provide care until arrangements can be made
We want to provide you with relevant information regarding pets and this whole Coronavirus ‘thing’. Some people still are not practicing social distancing, or wearing gloves (or masks) when they’re out in public, but here at sit-stay-play, we’re taking it super serious.
As an essential business providing pet care for our clients that are still working, Kelley, wears gloves and a face mask for every visit now. She uses sanitizer regularly and minimizes as much contact with the pets as possible. She’s doing everything in her power to stay as healthy as possible.
I hope you are safe and healthy and that you’re abiding by the most recent set of guidelines set forth for us by the CDC and federal government (that may be a little confusing at times, but hey, they’re trying!
What Say You?
What’s your thoughts about this COVID-19 pandemic?
Have you known anyone that’s contracted it?
Are you worried about pets and COVID-19?
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sit-stay-play is here to help if we can. If we aren’t able to, we can try and connect you with someone that can or give you tips on what you can do in your situation. Send an email. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember not to panic if you do get sick, just prepare now so your pets have the best chance possible to stay healthy.
Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
“Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists!”