Know the facts: According to the CDC, there is no evidence that people can get COVID-19 from pets, horses, farm animals, or wildlife.
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, the CDC still recommends that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. This can help ensure both you and your animals stay healthy. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
If you do become too ill to care for your pet or you need to be hospitalized, who can take over for you? Is there anyone else in your home who could help? Maybe a neighbor, friend, coworker, or family member who could provide temporary care? Even a groomer, daycare, or boarding facility may be able to help in your time of need with advance notice. But the most important thing you can do today is come up with two potential pet plans and talk directly with those people, so they’re prepared in case they’re called to action.
Prepare a pet supply kit. It may not seem necessary today, but we promise it will be hugely helpful if you find yourself in an emergency without the ability to track down the proper supplies. Your kit should include the following, as best as you’re able:
- Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
- Name and contact information for your back-up in case your go-to is no longer able to help
- Food, treats, a leash, a couple of toys, and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
- A crate or carrier to transport your pet
- Vaccination records
- Collars with ID tags (and don’t forget to make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date)
- Medications and prescriptions, along with a list of instructions
- Daily care instructions
- Contact information for your veterinary clinic
It is particularly important to plan for horses and other farm animals. Their size, shelter, and transportation needs make planning crucial.
With your whole family on board and a plan in place, you’ll feel a bit better about your pet’s safety, knowing they’re in good hands no matter what challenges may arise.
For more information on the COVID-19 response at Houston SPCA, please visit our COVID-19 Update.