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Some Thoughts on Pets and Coronavirus

Although pets in general are safe from coronavirus and its COVID-19 infection, there are some aspects of the current pandemic worth consideration by pet owners.

One of the biggest issues may involve a question: Is now a good time to visit your vet? Put another way, is going to your veterinarian a risk you need to take, especially if the waiting room might be crowded or you’ll need to stand near others, even a veterinarian? Especially if you’re in a high risk population – if you’re an older adult or have one of several high-risk factors, you may need to ask this question: is this a good time to visit the vet’s office?

Individual Issue

Obviously, this is an extremely individual question that depends on you, your vet and his or her office environment, and the nature of your pet’s veterinary visit. If your pet is seriously injured or ill, you’re facing a different question from that of a visit for grooming. Only you can answer this question but it’s one the current situation requires you to consider.

What may help is this: being prepared to handle many pet emergencies at home. Since we manufacture pet first aid kits, we’re somewhat biased. But almost any preparation is good, provided it’s geared for your pet and covers those injuries and illnesses that are likely to impact your pet. If you do it yourself, fine! But don’t forget our kits were created with input from veterinarians and experienced pet owners, come in water resistant and self-contained containers, with instructions and more! Either way, if you own a pet some preparation may be critical if you’re faced with an unexpected injury.

Other Questions

The coronavirus brings other issues as well. For example, owners who let their pets roam may wish to rethink the practice. Some evidence indicates that the virus MIGHT be transported on fur. When the owner pets his or her roaming pet, they theoretically could pick up the virus.

A similar and possibly more immediate situation might occur at home. For example, if one person is sick with the virus and they’re quarantined in a room or rooms, pets should not be allowed to go back and forth between the patient and everyone else in the home.

Those who recommend these limits admit the suggestions reflect an “abundance” of caution. However, at times like this, abundant caution seems in order. If nothing else, the recommendation to wash hands often, for at least 20 seconds with soap, is always a good idea. Other steps may depend on your pet, your community and your own risks.

Pet Threat

But what about your pet itself? Most current information indicates that pets themselves are not at risk from the virus. There has been a report of a single dog in Hong Cong contracting COVID-19. However, the canine exhibited no symptoms and appears to be unaffected. However, much of this involves very preliminary information that may change. For that reason, continued awareness is a good idea.

Given all of this, pets appear to be a very big plus for those stuck at home or worried over work and business, concerned about loved ones or even personal health. Having a furry or feathered friend to share this time may be the best medicine available!