The World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have established best practices for households with pets. While there is only a small chance of human-to-pet transmission, these practices should still be followed if you would like to keep your cat or dog safe and healthy!
This is what you should do if you have pets and worry about transmitting coronavirus:
- Do not allow people from outside the household to interact with your pet.
- Do not allow cats outside during the outbreak.
- Do not allow dogs to wander outside when not on a leash.
- Do not use face coverings on your pets; these can affect respiratory response and actually harm your animals!
- Avoid large gatherings and public areas.
- When sick, do not care for your pet; ask someone else in the household who is not yet sick. When there is no other option but to care for your pet on your own, use a face covering for yourself. Wash hands with warm water and soap both before and after interacting with your animal.
- Avoid close contact with your pet. Avoid being licked or cuddling.
- Be sure to clean up pet waste quickly.
- Contact your local veterinary clinic if you have additional questions about your pet’s health!
There might be a circumstance in which both you and your pet become sick at the same time. It’s important to know if you have the coronavirus infection/COVID-19. If you do, then avoid traveling to the veterinary clinic! You will only be spreading the virus and putting other pets and pet owners at risk.
Instead, call the clinic to ask about help. They will have their own best practices put into place and will know exactly how to help most efficiently. Some will want to video conference with you.
For additional information, check the CDC website which will be updated routinely as new information is learned: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/pets.html