According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. In addition, as with any emergency, we urge all pet owners to include your pets in their emergency plans. This includes designating a friend or family member to care for your pets, researching temporary housing options for them, compiling all vet records, ensuring they are up-to-date on vaccines, as well as listing all contact information and setting aside extra food and supplies for your pets.
The CDC recommends that, in case you fall ill and are unable to care for your pets, you create a pet preparedness kit. This kit should include key documents, food and medications, and other necessary supplies, along with detailed instructions on how to take care of your pets’ daily needs to ensure that your pets are well cared for while you recover.
As you create your instructions, take a moment to think about your pet’s day-to-day life. Does your pet have a specific ritual in the morning? What time are they fed? If you have multiple pets, do they need to eat separately? Where do your pets like to sleep? If your pet is crated, how do you coax them in? Does your pet have triggers that make them anxious? How do you calm them? If they take medication, how much and when? Do you need to hide the pills in their food or administer them with a syringe? How do your pets prefer to go potty? If they go on walks, are they dog reactive? No detail is too small!
In addition to creating the kit, you should identify trusted individuals or boarding organizations that you can rely on if you get sick. Be sure to communicate with these individuals/organizations to ensure they will be able to assist you when you need it.
For specific questions regarding how COVID-19 affects you and your pet, please see this great guide from the American Veterinary Medical Association.
*If your pet is not up-to-date on vaccinations, now is the time to make a vet appointment.
**If your pet is not microchipped, now is the time to have one implanted.
Information obtained and adapted from Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter.