As a pet parent, the safety and well-being of your furry buddy are most likely included in your list of major concerns in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—and rightly so. Pets are part of the family and it’s important that we include them in our emergency preparedness plan to make sure everyone in the household, human or otherwise, stays safe and healthy.
Here are 4 tips on how to keep your pet safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Wash your hands thoroughly
While there’s no evidence that companion animals can acquire nor transmit COVID-19 to humans, maintaining proper hygiene is a necessary preventative measure. The virus spreads through droplets, whether from a sneeze or cough, meaning we can pick it up simply by coming into contact with contaminated objects or surfaces and possibly spread it to other locations.
By washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day, you not only keep yourself and others from becoming infected, but you also help prevent the virus from spreading even more. Wash your hands before and after you go out, give/receive cash from a delivery person, handle food, and touch/feed your pet or pet supplies.
Maintain social distancing during walks
Dogs, especially big ones, need exercise to stay mentally and physically healthy, so if you’re considering taking your pooch on a walk, you and your pooch need to maintain social distancing with both other people and animals. After walking your dog, don’t forget to clean their paws for good measure, either with doggy wipes or soap and water. If you have a fenced yard, however, it’s much safer for you to exercise and play with your pet there.
Feeling sick? Avoid contact with your pet
If you’re feeling sick (fever, cough, and shortness of breath are the distinguishing signs of COVID-19) or under medical observation, limit contact with your pet. Although there are no reports of pets becoming infected with COVID-19, it’s important to play it safe until we have more information about the virus. If possible, have another family member, friend, or trusted pet sitter look after your pet while you recover.
Stock up on pet essentials
We don’t know how long before the global pandemic will be completely resolved, so it’s very important to stock up on pet supplies, such as food, vitamins, toys, and cat litter (good for at least 30 days), and have a pet essentials kit on-hand, especially if your pet takes medication or has a medical condition.
Additionally, make sure that your pet is easily identifiable in case they escape or unexpectedly dart out the door. They should be microchipped or wearing a collar with a tag containing up-to-date information, including their name, your home address, and contact number.