3 Tips for Keeping Our Pets Healthy During the Pandemic

In the midst of a pandemic it's crucial that we do our best to keep ourselves and the people around us healthy. At the same time it's just as important that we don't neglect our furry (or scaly) friends' health. While our pets cannot contract or transmit COVID-19, they can unfortunately get coronavirus. This doesn't necessarily mean that pets should now walk around with a mask. Despite how cute that would be, it could potentially do more harm than good for your pet.

There is still a lot to learn about COVID-19 and how it affects animals. So what are a few ways that we can protect our pets' health? The CDC recommends upholding certain habits when being a pet owner to ensure the health of you and your pet.

Stock Up

A pet's health is determined by the quality of food they consume (along with good exercise).. Grocery stores went through phases of rapidly selling out of certain items such as toilet paper. While I dont encourage over-purchasing necessities, I would recommend checking the pet food supply to make sure that you have at least a few weeks worth of supply.

Stocking up not only gives you the peace of mind that your pet has enough to eat, but also you don't have to deal with the hassle of going out and possibly contracting the virus yourself.

Prepare a kit with essential supplies that would be needed in the case of an emergency. This kit would include a month’s supply of your pets medication, food, and anything else they need. This would be useful in the case of a sudden lockdown. It is also smart to make sure your pet’s vaccines are all up to date as you may have difficulty later on in a lockdown situation.

Hygiene Begins with You

Wash your hands thoroughly before handling your pets or their food / belongings. This is especially crucial if you were outside for any reason. While washing your hands is one of the basic tips on how to prevent catching the virus yourself, it is even more important if you are a pet owner. So despite the fact that your dog is practically pouncing on you with excitement when you enter your home, control the urge to reciprocate that excitement by washing your hands and disposing your outdoor clothes before interacting with your pets.

This is due to the fact that we don't necessarily know if the virus can live on pet fur or how long it could survive. However, the level of contact and interaction you have with your pet is also based on whether you have contracted the virus or not.

Assign a Backup Pet Parent

In the case that you have tested positive for the virus, it is important to minimize contact with your pet as much as possible. A recommended option would be to avoid contact with your pets completely and have a trusted friend or family member take care of your pet until you recover. Identify someone who you believe would prove to be an efficient pet parent and would be able to take care of your pet in the case of an emergency. This could range anywhere from a family member, a neighbor and even a nearby boarding facility.

In the situation that you are forced to have a secondary caregiver, write up a list of your pet's necessities. Mention all possible information that could be needed such as habits and food preferences, to more serious things regarding medical information and their local vet’s details. Be sure to provide their medical and vaccination records to the substitute caregiver as well.

At the end of the day no one knows your pet’s character and needs better than you, this is exactly why jotting down important information would be beneficial. To sum it up, your pets are a part of your family so it's important to keep their best interests in mind by keeping them healthy and happy and preparing for unwanted situations.

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