Article courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society
Our pets are family and we want to keep them safe and healthy. While there is no current evidence indicating that pets can transmit COVID-19 to humans, there have been a few unique cases of animals testing positive that suggest it might be possible for a person to infect a pet. For a complete overview of these cases, and expert guidance, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) page on pets in homes with COVID-19.
If you think it is likely that you have been exposed to the coronavirus or if you are experiencing symptoms, you can take some simple but critical steps to ensure your pet’s health and safety. Most important, do not wait until you’re already sick to plan for your pet’s care.
What you should have on hand:
- A two-week supply of your pet’s food, medications and additional necessities, such as cat litter, a carrier for small animals or special diet-related treats and supplements
- Updated vaccination records, a medication schedule (if relevant) and contact information for your veterinarian’s office
- Detailed pet care notes, including feeding and walking routines and important notes about your pet’s behavior
How to prepare if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19
If you share a residence with other people:
Separate yourself from any pets and other healthy members of your household. Ideally, another healthy person in your household should assume full responsibility for caring for your pet until you’ve been cleared medically. Have the healthy member of your household wash and clean any pet bowls, leashes, crates, bedding and toys, and keep those items separate from the part of the house in which you are staying.
If you live alone or are the only adult at your residence:
Identify an emergency pet caregiver, such as a local friend, relative or neighbor who can care for your pet temporarily while you are sick. Ideally, this person should take your pet to their home to avoid them having to routinely visit your home and risk exposure. Prepare your pets’ essential items (food, bowls, leashes, etc.) and place them near your door so the caregiver can easily grab them when they come to pick up your pet. In addition, it’s a good idea to identify a backup caregiver in case your primary choice becomes ill too.
If you do not have an alternative caregiver for your pet:
Consider taking your pet to a local boarding facility or kennel that is equipped to properly care for your pet indefinitely. You might want to ask your vet’s office for recommendations or inquire if the vet’s office offers boarding. Whatever arrangements you make, be sure to include a plan for getting your pet there.
As long as you are experiencing symptoms and are keeping your pet at home, you should take basic precautions, such as minimizing physical contact with your pet (including sleeping in separate rooms), using gloves and whatever protective face covering you have available when around your pet, and continuing to wash your hands regularly. Pet toys, bedding, food bowls and other pet supplies should also be kept in a separate space that you do not touch unless you are wearing gloves and a protective face covering. We know these measures may seem impossible to comply with because pets are often a source of comfort when we’re sick, but keeping them healthy should take priority.
If you think you might need to be removed from your home for medical care and must leave your pet behind:
Leave a spare key to your home with a neighbor or somewhere outside where animal control can find it. Then complete and print the authorization sign below and post it in your front window or door where first responders can easily see it. We recommend completing and printing a second copy for any back door or secondary entrance, if you have one.
EMERGENCY PET CARE AUTHORIZATION
Emergency pet care authorization form – English
For more details on how to create a Pet Preparedness Plan, click here.
The information provided and contained herein are the opinions of PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. which are based on external publication. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice.
PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss, claims or damages arising out of the within content.