Coronavirus and Your Pets
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we’re seeing a number of unprecedented events across the US and the world – the closing of schools, a shift toward remote working and learning arrangements, the closing of borders and businesses, and social distancing measures – all to slow the spread of the virus. Coronavirus is a serious issue and we should all take measures to ensure the health and safety of ourselves and each other.
Let’s face it, though, your pets are thrilled that you’re now working at home in your pajamas because they get to spend more time with you. They are, afterall, part of your family.
Just as you’re worried about other family members, you probably have some questions about how and if COVID-19 affects your pets. The important thing to know is that the World Health Organization finds no evidence that your pet can contract or transmit COVID-19. There are other other forms of coronavirus that are specific to dogs, cats, bovine, and other species, which humans do not contract.
COVID-19 & Considerations For Your Pet
Since your pets will not be affected by COVID-19, it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with your four-legged family member. There is no reason not to walk your dog, play with your cat, or take the opportunity to do some training. The health and stress-relieving benefits of spending time with pets have been well researched, and I would argue that in a time of immense change and stress, this is more important now than ever!
Just like the rest of the family, though, you should take steps to ensure that your pets are cared for in case of emergency, like any other family member. The ASPCA and HSUS have some helpful tips to make sure that your pets are well cared for:
- Identify a friend or family member who can care for your pets if you become ill.
- Have 14 days of food and 30 days of medication on hand. Ensure that all dose and administration directions are documented.
- Keep all vaccines up to date and have copies of those records available in the event that you need to board your pet. Keep all of your pet’s information and supplies in one place.
- Bath your pet after they have been around other people (e.g., dog park, pet store) and regularly wash bedding, leashes and collars.
- If you are sick, avoid close contact with your pet (e.g., snuggling), just as you would any other family member.
- Pets should always have a collar, tag, and be microchipped. Update your information in the appropriate microchip registry.
To ensure the health of you and your entire family, be sure to clean your home to eliminate any potential contagions brought in and practice proper hygiene, especially hand washing regularly.
As always, if you have any concerns or questions about your pet’s health, contact your veterinarian. If you do need to go to the vet, you might find that their protocols have changed so call ahead and ask. For example, some clinics are changing schedules to reduce the number of people in the clinic at one time, or meeting clients in the parking lot if the owner is feeling ill. If there are delays be patient because these protocols are put in place to protect the staff, and you, from exposure.
What is Home Sweet Home Doing About COVID-19?
We take the wellbeing of our foster animals and volunteers very seriously. While we are maintaining operations and continuing to foster and care for animals, we are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our volunteers. These practices will shift as local, state, and federal guidance changes so please call us for an update if you are interested in fostering or adopting.
- Limiting or cancelling adoption and other events as guidance for managing COVID-19 changes.
- Limiting the number of volunteers that attend a particular function / meeting to reduce interpersonal contact.
- Volunteers who feel ill should let us know immediately and not attend meet and greets, adoptions, or visit the cat cottages at Petsmart.
- Encouraging volunteers to follow CDC and WHO standards to prevent and address infection.
- Maintaining clean foster homes and cat cottages.
- Respecting social distancing measures when interacting with others.
- Bathing incoming animals to ensure that any potential contagion is not transferred in fur (this is a regular practice, not just for COVID-19).
- Providing virtual adoption experiences and information via videos, email, and phone.
We Need Foster Homes Now More Than Ever
Rescues and shelters need volunteer foster homes now more than ever. As the shelters that we pull animals from try to keep their employees safe with minimal staffing / interaction, they need to reduce the number of animals they provide care for on a daily basis. We will continue to save as many animals as we are able, while staying in compliance with any regulations in place and keeping our volunteers safe.
That’s where we come in… and we need you!
Contact us now to find out more about fostering or adopting!