You may have heard of some companion animal testing positive for COVID-19. However, there is no evidence that they contribute to the spreading of the virus. There is nothing to worry about; COVID-19 is only transmissible from human to human.
“The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, there is no evidence that companion animals have spread the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare”
–World Organization For Animal Health
The current pandemic is not an easy time for anyone, and we all worry about the well-being of our loved ones, including our furry friends. We know that veterinary clinics are working hard and taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep their staff and customers safe while preserving the quality of life and health of animals. You can also read about how the Coronavirus is affecting the veterinary community in this period.
In this blog post, we are giving you some helpful tips to take into account when bringing your pet to the vet during COVID-19 based on what we have seen in the I Love Veterinary Community. Let’s get right into them!
COVID-19 advice for pet owners – What should I do if I need to bring my pet to the vet?
- Call your vet from home and explain the situation with your pet. When you phone, they will advise you on what to do and whether you should go to the vet clinic. With COVID-19, some vets are implementing telemedicine as a way to help clients and pets.
- If your vet recommends that your pet should get medical attention, it is best if you can disinfect the pet carrier or leash, and wear gloves when putting your pet in the car. Only bring your pet with you (no kids or other family members)
- Remember to wash your hands before and after the visit to the vet and wear gloves if you can.
- Follow the instructions from your vet: call when you arrive, stay in your car at all times, pay by the phone. Some clinics may ask you to drop-off your cat by the door or wait for a veterinary professional to pick up your dog in the parking lot. Most vets are offering curbside services only. This measure is for your safety and the safety of the staff.
- Practice social distancing: if you encounter someone in the parking lot or surrounding areas, maintain a distance of 2 meters from them.
- Stay updated with their social media accounts of any changes regarding opening hours and precautions.
- If you have COVID-19 or feel unwell and your pet is ill and needs medical help, the American Veterinary Medical Association advises seeking assistance from your veterinarian to evaluate ways on how to take care of your pet in the best way possible. This will reduce the risks of spreading the virus to other people. It is essential to wash your hands after any contact with your pet or have another person from your household look after him.
Many veterinary clinics are not performing elective procedures, including dental cleanings (this can change if your pet has a sore mouth), neuterings, and spayings to reduce visits. Some vets are only seeing emergency cases, so if your cat or dogs needs a vaccination, it may be getting delayed. If this is the case, do not allow your kitten out or your puppy in contact with unvaccinated animals as they will not be protected against diseases such as canine or feline distemper.
Here is a helpful poster that you can download and print for your clinic, with all the information we mentioned above.
The veterinary staff is doing their best to take care of patients and clients while maintaining their safety and the safety of others. Help your local veterinary clinic by following the suggestions above. Also, it is important to take precautions and have at least a two-week emergency pack with food for your pet.
It is an unusual time for everyone, and we need to work together to get through this!
Stay safe and if you need more information, check the regular updates on the World Health Organization, World Organization For Animal Health and the veterinary associations in your country such as the American Veterinary Medical Association and the British Veterinary Association.
Infographic and article created by Arais Conde, find out more about her by visiting her Instagram or Portfolio.
Project dedicated to support and help to improve Veterinary Medicine. Sharing information and raising discussions in the veterinary community.