Prepare a COVID-19 plan for your pets

While there is no evidence that your pets can get the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, from an infected person, it is still important to consider your pet in your COVID-19 preparation plans. Whether sheltering at home, or in the unfortunate case that you are admitted into the hospital, ensuring you have reliable care for your pets protects them and you in the event of an emergency.

There is no evidence that pets can transmit the virus, but it is important to maintain healthy habits when interacting with your furry friends to keep yourself healthy and avoid unnecessary germs—just like you would any other time. Make sure to always wash your hands after you touch your pet or handle their food, supplies or excrement.

Now is the to consider what you will do with your pet if you contract COVID-19 and need to be hospitalized or become sick and unable to care for your pet. Consider speaking with family or a friend about looking after your pet in your absence. Prepare directions for pet care in advance, including instructions on the administration of medications and make sure you have adequate supplies on hand for your designated caretaker. Ensure your friends and family also have your veterinarian’s information in case of emergency. Finally, don’t forget to confirm that your pet has the correct identification, including a collar with up-to-date pet tag and an updated microchip.

Hopefully, most of us will be able to shelter in place and continue to care for our pets ourselves. And, studies show there are many benefits to being at home with our pets, including their obvious joy at our continued presence. These studies also show that having a companion animal reduces stress and anxiety and correlates with many health benefits for owners. Now is a great time to hunker down with your furry family members and try to enjoy the extra time together.

However, if you are absolutely unable to care for your pet, the Dumb Friends League is here to help. We are available to provide information on affordable pet resources, support for keeping pets in your home and our Pet Assist program.

There is no question that the current pandemic has caused physical, mental and economic anxiety for all of us. Having a plan in place can help relieve the stress of caring for your pet if you or a family member become unexpectedly ill. Taking these simple, preventive steps can help keep you and your pet safe in the event of an unexpected emergency.

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