COVID-19 and Your Pets: What You Need to Know

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. Its origin is still under investigation, and whether pets can actually contract it is still a matter of debate. (There was a case in Hong Kong of a weak positive test in a dog, but, according to numerous news sources, pets can carry but are not susceptible to the disease.)

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 often and thoroughly, particularly after touching animals.  

  • If at all possible, avoid people who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19. These include coughing, sneezing, and trouble breathing.

  • If you’re sick, stay home, and try to avoid close contact with your pet while you’re symptomatic.

  • 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.

  • Skip the face masks. They don’t really protect you from the virus, and it’s crucial that protective gear is reserved for people who really need it, like healthcare workers who regularly come in direct contact with the sick.

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 SVH at (802) 985-2525 with questions or concerns.

© 2018 by Shelburne Veterinary Hospital 

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