As of the first week of April 2020, there have been 4 cases of pets infected with COVID-19 worldwide, with only 1 case that experienced illness. Although infection in pets remains rare, pet parents are still worried that their furkids might fall sick due to the coronavirus.  

So what should you do in case you, the pet parent, is COVID-19 positive? How can you protect your pets against the novel coronavirus?  

Caring for your pet when you’re sick 

If you suspect that you have COVID-19, or are confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, you should stay at least 6 feet away from your pets, just like you’d do around other members of your family. There is still no report of pets being infected with COVID-19 here in the United States but it’s better to limit your contact with pets and animals until we know more about the coronavirus.  

Here are some tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) so that you can still care for your pet: 

  • Tell your veterinarian and public health official that you have a pet at home. Doing so will help them gauge your situation and make the necessary arrangements. 
  • Stay in a separate room. At all times, you need to be careful and avoid transmitting the coronavirus to other people, including your pets. It’s much better if you will also use a separate bathroom, if possible. 
  • Have another house member care for your pet. Since you’d be quarantined for at least 14 days until you tested negative, you will need someone who can address your pet’s needs.  
  • Have an emergency kit prepared. Make sure that you have at least two weeks’ worth of essentials for your pet. Don’t forget to include Wishbone‘s healthy and gourmet recipes for cats and dogs. With 8 beneficial superfoods, Wishbone’s recipes can help support your pet’s immune system and promote better health during this time of crisis. 
  • Don’t share food, kiss, or hug. Just to be on the safe side, avoid doing these displays of affection to your furkids even until you tested COVID-19 negative. It’s better to wait until the pandemic has been declared under control. 
  • No sharing of dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding. If you plan to use any of these things for your pets then, by all means, hand it down to your pets. That’s it. Once you’ve decided that your pets will use these, you can’t take them back anymore for hygienic purposes. 
  • If you must really look after your pets, wear a face mask. The Hong Kong incident may likely be a case of a pet getting infected by the sick pet owner’s contaminated surroundings. Always wear a facemask and exercise proper hygiene after interacting with your pets or service animal. 
  • Wash hands before and after interacting with your pet. Personal hygiene is extremely important to avoid COVID-19 contamination. The 20-second rule in hand-washing is an effective way to thoroughly clean your hands. 

If your pet becomes sick 

In case your pet falls ill too while you’re infected with COVID-19, do not rush to take your pet to the veterinary clinic. You must call your veterinarian first and let him know about your situation. He’ll discuss how you can safely bring your furkid to the clinic for treatment without the risk of infecting others. 

Stay healthy around pets and animals 

With or without COVID-19, you must remember that all animals may carry germs that can make people sick. So it’s best to practice good hygiene and healthy habits when around pets and other animals. Remember to: 

  • Wash your hands before and after handling animals, their food, supplies, and their waste 
  • Be a responsible pet parent and always clean up after your pets properly  
  • Bring your pets to your veterinarian at least twice a year for check-ups 
  • Keep them healthy with the right kind of food. See Wishbone’s recipes for dogs and cats  

Know more about COVID-19 here.

Can your pets get COVID-19? Read here to find out.

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