20 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: Pet owners should prepare for getting sick - SPCA

2:37 pm on 20 March 2020

The SPCA is urging pet owners to have a plan for caring for them amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Puppy and kitten.

(File image). Photo: 123RF

There is no evidence pets can infect humans with Covid-19 and the SPCA said people should not abandon their furry, feathery or fishy friends.

If someone does not have the virus, they should continue to care for their pets as normal, but wash their hands thoroughly before and after touching them, their food, toys and bedding.

The SPCA said people should think about what would happen to their pets if they or a family member got sick.

A care plan could include:

  • Setting up an arrangement with a friend or family member, pet sitter or boarding facility to provide care should you or someone in your household become ill
  • Making sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations, in the event boarding becomes necessary.
  • Ensuring all your pet's medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions, and a 30-day supply. Including a prescription from your veterinarian is also helpful
  • Ensuring all pets have identification, including a collar with their current identification tags and a registered microchip (with up-to-date contact details)
  • Creating a list of useful contact details such as your vet and pet insurance provider
  • Having two weeks' worth of food, crates and extra supplies on hand. If you're not able to go to the supermarket or vet, ask a friend or neighbour if they can collect items for you, or call and see if delivery options are available

If someone is sick, they should arrange for someone else to care for their pet, if possible.

If they can't do this, as a precaution they should avoid contact with their pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food with them.

Cats should aslo be kept inside.

People who are self-isolating because they have travelled overseas can still take their dogs for walks, but they should avoid places where social contact is likely, maintaining a two-metre distance from other people.

They should not let people pet their dog and they should follow good hygiene practices, such as avoiding touching their face and washing their hands.

Dog owners can also think about things like introducing food puzzles to make meal times more interesting, playing fetch or tug, teaching them a new trick, and hiding treats around the garden or house and sending them off in search of them.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

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