Protect your pets from COVID-19 exposure
How or if we can transmit COVID-19 to our four-footed companions still isn’t clear.
Regardless, there are steps you can take to avoid exposing your pets to the virus according to the Government of Canada.
If you have symptoms or you are isolating yourself after a possible exposure you will want to take all the normal precautions of washing your hands throughout the day and avoiding touching your face, before and after touching your animals and their food or toys.
Don’t sneeze or cough around your animals.
You will want to stay away from your animals, not the easiest thing to do when animals have become so used to your constant presence over the last few months. This means no licks and cuddles, no sharing food, holding them on your lap or sleeping with them.
If you can, have someone else in your bubble look after the animals. And you will want to keep your animals away from those outside of your bubble.
When you are on your own, use a mask at home around your pets.
Current recommendations suggest keeping your cat indoors at all times, cats may be more susceptible. Don’t ask why, no one knows and this is a precaution. Keep your dogs fenced in or on a leash when you are off the enclosed property.
If you believe your animal has been exposed you will be treating the situation as you would for the rest of your family. Clean and disinfect HIGH CONTACT areas which will be different for critters. Their beds, the water bowl and food bowls, favourite chew toys and toy boxes for example.
Now would be a good time to put some toys away, particularly those that would be hard to sanitize.
Talk to your vet if there is a chance you will need to be hospitalized, your animal will also need to maintain minimum contact with other animals and people.
If your pet is exhibiting symptoms, you will need to discuss the possible treatments and next steps with your vet. There are no vaccines.
If it is possible, your pet should remain in your home to minimize exposure. Again, talk to your vet and the people in your bubble.
Stay safe. You and your pets.