COVID-19 and your pets

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RCL - Ultra Pet | Woman and dog

The world is facing a new challenge with the outbreak of COVID 19. As pet lovers one of our main concerns will be the health of our pets.

We want to stay updated on the latest COVID-19 information and have answered some of the most pertinent questions.

Is my pet at risk to get infected with COVID-19?

Now that COVID-19 virus infections are widely distributed in the human population there is a possibility for some animals to become infected through close contact with infected humans.

Several dogs and cats have tested positive to COVID-19 virus following close contact with infected humans.

Is my  pet able to infect me with the virus i.e be a carrier?

No. The virus can only be transmitted through human to human contact. The virus is transmitted via droplets from coughing and sneezing.

Studies are underway to better understand the susceptibility of different animal species to the COVID-19 virus and to assess infection dynamics in susceptible animal species.

We still recommend to practice good hygiene after handling your pet and disposing waste.

What must I do if I suspect I am sick or am tested positive?

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.

Currently, there is no evidence that companion animals are playing a significant epidemiological role in this human disease. However, because animals and people can sometimes share diseases (known as zoonotic diseases), it is still recommended that people who are infected with COVID-19 limit contact with companion and other animals until more information is known about the virus.

When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. 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.

What is the best way to protect myself and my family (human and pet) from the COVID-19 coronavirus?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick or have a fever.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or bent elbow. Dispose of the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Maintain more personal space between you and other people than you might usually.
  • If you become ill with the COVID-19 coronavirus, please wear a well-fitted mask to help prevent the spread of the virus and limit contacts with other humans and your pets as recommended by your physician.
  • If you are ill and your pet needs veterinary care, please call your veterinarian or emergency clinic first. They may be able to accommodate your situation by coming out to your car to transport your pet into the clinic for an examination and communicate with you via phone regarding the diagnosis and treatment plan. 
  • If you know older/elderly people, you may want to check in with them to make sure they have necessary food, medications and supplies, including for their pets.