There are plenty of things to be concerned about during the current coronavirus pandemic. For us dog owners, one of those concerns is likely what will happen to our pets if we get very sick.
Have a Pet Preparedness Plan Ready
The HSUS recommends that you have a preparedness plan. This should include:
- Asking a friend or family member if they can care for your dog should you need to be hospitalized.
- In case your dog needs to be relocated, be sure to have extra food and supplies ready, and a carrier or crate if necessary.
- Make sure your dog’s vaccines are up to date, and that you and the designated temporary caretaker have copies of the records. Note that even in states that have ordered “safer at home,” like where I live in California, animal hospitals remain open.
- If your dog is taking any medications, make sure you have a list with the names, dosages and administering instructions.
- Your dog should be microchipped with your current contact information, and wear a collar and ID tag.
Find Pet Care Resources in Your Community
As the coronavirus spreads, your local community may be able to help you care for your dog.
“During this crisis, there may be options of temporary housing for pets, donated supplies, subsidized veterinary services and more available to help people care for and stay together with their pets,” the HSUS says.
The HSUS also recommends contacting local shelters and animal service agencies to see if any support is available. If you are experiencing financial hardship, check out their list of local and national pet resources for those in need.
Can You Infect Your Dog with the Coronavirus?
Here’s one less thing to worry about: Dogs (and cats) are very unlikely to become infected with COVID-19, according to both the CDC and the World Organisation for Animal Health. There is currently no evidence that they can spread the virus to people.
However, if you have the coronavirus, you should avoid contact with your pets as well as people. “If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them,” the CDC advises.
Photo: That’s my shelter dog, Ella, sheltering in place with her Kong toy and favorite blankie.