As members of the veterinary community, we've been monitoring the situation with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the beginning. At a time when people are understandably prone to panic, it's more important than ever to separate fact from fiction. Pet owners want to know the straight truth about the possibility of pet infection and the spread of this virus, and we share the latest information on that in this blog post.
Can Pets Spread the Coronavirus?
Pet owners' fears were exacerbated after reports of a dog in Hong Kong, China was quarantined due to “weak-positive” test result for the virus. While a “weak positive” indicates viral infection, it does not mean that your domestic pet can transmit the virus to other animals – including humans! According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus and, per the AVMA, there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract or spread COVID-19.
However, this does not mean we shouldn’t take the same precautions with our pets that we would take after interacting with other humans. For example, you should still wash your hands with soap and water after touching your pet and avoid direct kisses to the face. The AVMA recommends that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
How Do I Take Care of My Pet During This Pandemic?
As always, animal owners should continue to include their pets in emergency preparedness planning, including keeping a two-week supply of food and medications on hand. We recommend always keeping an emergency kit on hand in the event of evacuations or, in this case, quarantine/self-isolation that prevents you from venturing into public spaces.
How Are You Preventing the Spread of The Coronavirus in Your Vet Practice?
Our veterinary team is taking every precaution to keep our staff and community healthy. You may see hand sanitizer pumps at every corner of the hospital or much of the staff continuously wiping down every surface and tool with disinfectant wipes. As we continue to monitor Coronavirus developments, we will also continue to implement any measures necessary to avoid exposure and transmission.
What Can We, As Veterinary Clients, Do to Prevent the Spread of the Coronavirus?
We ask that our clients take the same preventative measures and stay vigilant in their sanitary practices. If you are experiencing any signs of respiratory illness, we advise that you follow the directions of the health authorities. We are happy to reschedule any upcoming appointments for a future date. Please take a moment to review some of the safety measures in place - effective immediately - before visiting our hospital:
A Rundown of How Veterinary Curbside Service Will Work
- Please call from your vehicle when you arrive at check-in and stay in your car with your pet until a tech comes out to escort your pet.
- We are happy to perform your pet's procedures while you wait in your car. We can check you out curbside and communicate your pet's health via phone.
- Maintain some distance between each other and avoid any physical touching, such as handshakes.
There is no reason for panic but we do advise you to take an abundance of caution to keep your pets and family members safe during this pandemic. As long as we band together, we can support one another during what is an undeniably stressful time.