Pets & COVID-19 | PetFirst

Pets & COVID-19

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What to know about COVID-19 and our pets

Questions and answers for pet parents

About Pets & COVID-19

With the recent increase in Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the United States and beyond, we know there are a lot of questions about how to keep our families safe during this time. We know pets are like family and there are lots of questions surrounding how COVID-19 impacts pets. We are providing some guidance on some of the most frequently asked questions we have seen surrounding the topic.

Frequently Asked Questions

The World Organization for Animal Health has announced that there is no evidence that cats or dogs spread the disease to humans, but that anyone who is sick should take precautions in contact with their animals as they would with people. This is an evolving pandemic and further studies are needed to have a definitive answer.

Since this is an evolving pandemic, you should use your discretion when encountering other’s pets. During this time, remember social distancing guidelines when interacting with other pet parents.

To maintain good hygiene, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after petting a dog, regardless of whether the pet’s owner appears sick.

Worldwide there have been very few cases of animals being diagnosed with COVID-19. However, the American Veterinary Medical Association has stated that not enough is known to change the current view that neither cats nor dogs appear to be able to pass the virus to people.  This is an evolving pandemic and further studies are needed to have a definitive answer.

 

Animal welfare organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States and the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, recommend that a person who becomes ill with COVID-19 have a friend and/or family member care for their pet. Although The World Organization for Animal Health has announced that there is no evidence that cats or dogs spread the disease to humans, you should use your discretion when making this decision.

 

If you are faced with this situation, your local animal control center may be a good resource. It may be possible for an animal control officer to come to you to pick up your pet and transport your pet to an animal shelter. Make sure that your pet is up to date with their vaccinations and has proper identification (microchip, collar with ID tag). Your local animal control can give you further guidance on how to prepare for your pet to go to an animal shelter while you are hospitalized.

Being a foster pet parent is a great way to help other pets in need. You could also donate pet food and other pet supplies to local shelters and animal rescue centers.

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