With the growing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, many pet owners are concerned with how this crisis could affect their pet’s health. In light of the stay at home order issued by Governor DeSantis for the state of Florida, we want to reassure our clients that Healthy Pets Veterinary Care is recognized as an essential business and will continue to bring your pets exceptional health service. The American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) has been receiving regular updates from the CDC, FDA, and USDA; other state, national, and international veterinary and public health expert groups; and intergovernmental organizations (such as the WHO and OIE) to keep track of the latest developments and their impact on veterinarians, patients, and clients.
Below you’ll find critical information provided by the AVMA that will be of great interest to all pet owners:
- While there have been a couple of rare cases (2 dogs (Hong Kong) and 1 cat (Belgium)) of pets infected with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), infectious disease experts and multiple international, domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no concrete evidence at this point to indicate that pets spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people.
- COVID-19 appears to be primarily transmitted by contact with an infected person’s saliva or mucus droplets in a cough or sneeze. COVID-19 might be able to be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface or object (i.e., a fomite) and then touching the mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this appears to be a secondary route. Smooth (non-porous) surfaces (e.g., countertops, door knobs) transmit viruses better than porous materials (e.g., paper money, pet fur), because porous, and especially fibrous materials absorb and trap the pathogen (virus), making it harder to contract by touching. Because your pet’s hair is porous and fibrous it’s very unlikely that you would contract COVID-19 by petting or playing with your pet. However, because animals can spread other diseases to people and people can also spread diseases to animals, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands before and after interacting with animals; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; and regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys.
- If you are not ill with COVID-19, you may interact with your pet as you normally would, including walking, feeding, and playing. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).
- As an additional precaution, it’s recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a face mask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them
The veterinarians at Northlake Animal Hospital advise to have an emergency kit prepared in the event you are in quarantine or self-isolated; this includes food and any medication(s) your pet may need. As always, we are available to address any questions or concerns you may have during these difficult times. You can continue to count on our exemplary service during these times!
For additional resources, please make sure to visit our website, https://northlakeanimalhospital.org/resource-cente.htm.