Posted tagged ‘Coronavirus’

Our Pets and COVID 19

May 18, 2020

Well here we are on the fourth month of talking about COVID 19, and the end seems to still be nowhere in sight. There is so much information and misinformation floating around that it’s often hard to tell the difference between what’s true and what isn’t anymore. But here are recent guidelines that have come to us from the Center for Disease Control regarding pets and the novel coronavirus. They were issued after two New York cats and several tigers at the Bronx Zoo tested positive.

 

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside your house.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least six feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

If you or one of your family members are sick with COVID-19, the CDC recommends doing your best to restrict contact with your pets, just like you would do with people. It also suggests the following:

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

 

There is no doubt the virus has affected pets in other ways, too. Some dogs are afraid of the masks, so it’s a good idea to be mindful of this if you’re approached by a strange dog while wearing a mask. Pets that are used to their owners being home everyday may feel abandoned when people start going back to work, especially if they were adopted or fostered during the pandemic, and could start showing signs of separation anxiety. Pets can pick up on our feelings of frustration, as well, and become anxious themselves or even extra clingy. Don’t be surprised by any unusual behavior but for sure talk to a veterinarian about it and how to best handle it.

Something else reported is the rise in scams of all sorts, and one of them is to steal from those seeking to adopt a new pet. The scammer advertises on a website with pictures of pets that are up for adoption, allowing potential adopters to choose the pet they want. Money is sent and then the adopter waits…for a pet that never arrives because it was all a scam. If you do think this is a good time to bring a new pet into your home and life, please work with local shelters and rescues, and not unfamiliar websites, to help you find that special furry friend. And while many shelters emptied out when folks began to quarantine at home, some are now seeing an uptick in pets coming in due to their owners passing away from the virus, leaving their pets alone. It is all the more reason we should have a plan in place should we become unable to care for them in any case.

Let’s hope that next month there is more cheerful news to report. For now, stay safe and take extra special care of yourselves and the furry members of your family. In the meantime, Sandwich is not too sure about social distancing when it comes to keeping Mom company while she’s writing. But it’s good to have those faithful friends.

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