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Keep your pet (and yourself) safe during the Coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has spread across the world and has affected thousands of people in several countries. The rapid transmission of the virus has caused widespread panic across the globe. There have been a few news reports stating that pets can catch the coronavirus which has left pet parents feeling very concerned.

Here are some suggestions on keeping your pet and yourself safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can my pet get coronavirus?

The CDC in the United States has announced that the likelihood of your pet contracting COVID-19 is very small and the possibility of pets spreading the disease to humans is also very low. There have been a few cases where the pet dog or cat has tested positive for the disease; these pets have been in close contact with people who have COVID-19. The pets have tested as weak positives and have since recovered.

Studies have shown that cats are more susceptible to the novel coronavirus and can also transmit the virus from one cat to another. But there have been no cases of cats becoming sick because of the virus, and no evidence of cats transmitting the virus to people.   

In light of these findings, it has become extremely important to keep our pets (and ourselves) safe from coronavirus. There are several things you can do to ensure your pets are safe and healthy during this global pandemic.

Wash up

Keeping your pet safe is very similar to keeping yourself safe. Just as you would wash hands often, especially after stepping out, make sure you clean your pet’s feet after coming in from a walk. Groom your pets regularly and make sure they are tick and flea-free. Remember to wash your hands after you come in contact with your pet and after you clean up your pet’s waste. 

Social distancing

Experts believe that social distancing is the best way to protect oneself from COVID-19 and the same applies to our pets. If your neighbourhood has many reported cases of COVID-19, it is best to stay home and keep your pets at home with you. Take your dogs for short walks and avoid places that other people and pets frequent.

If your cat is in the habit of wandering outside, it is a good idea to keep him or her indoors for a while, especially if you live in a neighbourhood where the incidence of COVID-19 is high. A cat or a dog can carry the virus on their fur if they have been in contact with an infected person or pet.

If you or someone in your family is sick, make sure to avoid all contact with the pets, especially snuggling and kissing. Maintaining physical distancing can go a long way in keeping both you and your pet safe during this pandemic.

Don’t skip the vet visits

If your pet is showing signs of any illness, take them to the vet for an evaluation. If they are due for a check-up or their annual vaccinations, make an appointment with your vet before you go. Some vets may take only emergency cases because of the pandemic, so it is a good idea to call before you go. Remember to follow social distancing norms at the vet and make sure you wash up thoroughly after you return home.

Exercise and entertain your pets

Many countries are now slowly opening from the coronavirus-induced lockdown. If you live in a safe neighbourhood, taking your pets on walks and exercising them will be business as usual. However, in communities with several positive cases of COVID-19, it is best to stay indoors and take your dog for short walks outdoors.

You can entertain and exercise your pet cats at home with cat toys and cat exercise stations. You can make your cat toys at home; cats love boxes and string, use your imagination to build your cat the perfect toy.

Dogs can also be entertained at home with toys and games. Play hide and seek, tug of war and other sensory games with your puppy to take the edge off and keep them entertained at the same time. Your pets enjoy your company; use this time to forge a strong bond with them.

Stock up on the pet supplies

If you are self-isolating with your pet, stock up on the pet supplies just like you would stock up on groceries. Create an emergency kit for your pet with pet food, treats and medication that should last for at least two to three weeks. Designate an emergency caregiver for your pet in case of emergencies, and make sure you include your pet in your quarantine preparedness plans.  

Pet travel during coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the whole world of gear and concepts such as social distancing and sheltering in place have become the new normal. Most countries have rules in place to prevent the spread of the virus from spreading in the community. The best way to protect your pet and yourself is to follow all safety norms laid down in your country.

If you need to travel with your pet to an international location, airlines are offering limited services for pet transport to select destinations around the world. Pet travel from Australia is now possible to New Zealand, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and a few cities in Europe and the United States. Reach out to the team at Petraveller for more information on pet flights during the coronavirus pandemic and detailed pet travel itinerary.