Caring for Pets During Self-Quarantine

With no signs of coronavirus going away soon, you’ve got your self-quarantine routine down pat. But what about your pet? Are dogs and cats at risk for COVID-19? To learn some answers, I reached out to Dr. Alex Avery of Our Pets Health and Call the Vet podcast.

Is My Pet at Risk for Coronavirus?

Can Pets Catch Coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no evidence that dogs or cats can catch coronavirus (COVID-19).

Per the Center for Disease Control, “There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.”

Dr. Avery explains, “The bottom line is that it is not felt that cats and dogs can become infected and then transmit COVID-19 to people. If an animal has come into contact with an infected person then they may carry the virus in the same way that any object in an infected person’s environment might have virus on their surface. Good hygiene practices that we should all be carrying out anyway (handwashing and not letting a dog lick your face) make the risk any animal poses negligible.”

Caring for Pets During Self-Isolation

Most importantly, you want to ensure proper supplies are at hand. However, don’t hoard! Just pick up what you need so that there is enough to go around. Be sure to stock up on these essentials when supply begins to run low.

  • Food
  • Litter
  • Medical Supplies

Dr. Avery recommends having a couple of weeks’ supplies on hand at all times.

“Make sure you’ve got a couple of weeks worth of these supplies in the house at all times, especially essential medication. Veterinary services may be disrupted, or it may be that you struggle to get to the vet to pick up the supplies.”

You also want to consider your pet’s mental well-being.

“One thing that I think a lot of people won’t think about is that if you are self-isolating because you’ve been in contact with an infected individual or because you’re unwell, you will not be able to exercise your dog.”

If you’re feeling a little cooped up, your pet likely feels the same way! Proper pet supplies are essential, no matter your level of isolation. Dr. Alex recommends food toys to help. They prolong mealtime and provide much needed mental stimulation. Along with regular exercise, these help pets burn off excess energy and stay happy.

Man in face mask holding dog.

Do You Have a Backup Plan?

In the event you’re ill and have to leave your pets alone, it’s essential to have a plan. There are several things to consider.

  • Who can look after your pets if you are hospitalized?
  • Do they have a key to your home?
  • Are there special care requirements for your pets?
  • Will they be able to look after your pets under current circumstances?

Remember, current evidence shows that pets can’t carry novel coronavirus.

If you need to see your vet, be sure to call ahead, even for previously scheduled appointments.

“The current situation is very fluid, with many veterinary clinics taking the difficult decision to reduce the services they are offering so that they can minimize the risk to staff while still being able to provide care to those patients who truly need it.”

Additional Resources

Our Pets Health has even more resources for pet care during the coronavirus pandemic. Please check these links for valuable information.

Read Shop LC Updates for Coronavirus for more information about COVID-19.