COVID-19 Pandemic – FAQs and Preparedness for Pet Owners.

Hurricane Pets Rescue Inc. (HPR) has compiled this list of frequently
asked questions with regards to pets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. 
What happens if my pet needs to see a vet for a regular visit?
If your pet needs to see a vet for a regular visit such as immunizations, deworming, etc,. postpone it for a later time.  If your pet needs immediate veterinary care you should take him or her in immediately. Most if not all veterinary and emergency clinics due to COVID they are taken extra steps, to make sure everyone is safe, including your pet.  

But if you or somebody in your family is sick, STAY HOME and make arrangements for somebody else to bring your pet to the vet for you.
Do not jeopardize veterinarians and veterinary tech staff, stay home if you are sick. 

How do I prepare my pet for a Pandemic?
You should prepare for your pet just as you would for any other natural disaster, but do keep in mind that water will not be contaminated, and power will most likely will not be cut go off. If you do not live in an area where is hit by natural disasters and are not use to preparing for one, you can check out our “Disaster Preparedness, Safety & Emergency Planning for Pets”.
• Make sure your pet’s medical records and vaccines are up to date.
In the event that you are sick and cannot care for your pet, you may need to board your pet at a vet clinic or boarding facility for this reason make sure your pet immunizations, medications that your pet takes and preventative flea treatment are in order.
Always wash your hands before and after petting or grooming your pet.
• Bathe your pet on a weekly basis if you can. If your pet is a cat that are difficult to bathe because of their own purrrsonality, just wipe them down daily with a damp towel with a mix of apple cider vinegar and water. One part of vinegar to 10 parts of lukewarm water from the faucet.
Wipe your dog’s paws and body with the above mixture above after taking your pet for walks.

DO NOT USE HAND SANITIZER ON YOUR PETS, IS TOXIC FOR THEM AND CAN KILL THEM.

  • Keep in  mind that many towelettes sold in the marked today contain essential oils such as aloe or tea tree oil to name a few that are highly toxic specially for cats.
  • • If you are infected with COVID 19 DO NOT interact with your pet at all.
    • Make sure that food bowls are washed daily, and that bedding is washed at least twice a week.
    • If you have a cat and your cat likes to play with or in cardboard boxes, do not disinfect the boxes you give to your cat. Many disinfectants on the market today are highly toxic for all animals by specially for cats.
    Instead keep boxes in isolation for at least 24 to 36 hours before giving them to your cat to play. 
  • COVID 19 can be transmit it via feces, so please make sure that your pets do not drink out of the toilet.

While there is no evidence at this time whatsoever that pets can give COVID 19 to people there is one study done that shows that cats and dogs can be infected with COVID 19 themselves, therefore we must protect them.

Let us be clear here: There is NO evidence whatsoever at this time that COVID 19 from pet can infect humans.

How to best “shelter in place” with my pet?
Now that you are staying at home this is the best time for you to bond with your pets.
You can work on behavior training, new tricks training and basic training. If you do not how to, there are a million of online videos and web sites that can teach you how.
This is also the ideal time to work on thing your pets are scare of and help them overcome their fears. Things such as grooming, trimming nails, ear cleaning, etc.
Working together with your pets is always best when they see a familiar face YOU, instead of a vet or groomer, this will build up their confidence.

How can my pet help me cope with these hard and stressful time?
Studies show that animals can lower blood pressure, heal the heart and help us humans keep our stress levels in check, therefore having your pets with you in these stressful times is a real plus.
They will also help you with you being depressed and or just you being lonely.
Take advantage of these wonderful gifts our pets give us and enjoy it while you can.
No don’t just go out and get a pet if you do not have already, people in hard times sometimes get an animal form the wrong reason. If you do not have a pet yet, please do not get one now just because you are lonely depressed or stressed. Keep in mind that pets are for life and once
they join our family they should be treated as family and stay with you forever.
If you are however willing to make a lifelong commitment and are also financially able to afford a pet, by all means go out to the nearest shelter and ADOPT a new best friend.
DO NOT buy a pet, ADOPT, and yes you can find purebred animals at the
county shelter or in rescue. Shelter animals make the best pets and so do the mutts, black cats, seniors and even those that are special needs.

Can my pet feel that I am sick or stressed?
Definitely yes, our pets feel all of our emotions, this is why it is very important specially during these hard times that you remain calm and confident.
Our pets look up to us, we are their world and we are all that they
have, therefore by us staying calm we provide our pets with something they can sense, which is a environment that is safe and secure.

How do I know if my pet is infected with COVID 19?
Most labs as of now are not set up for diagnostic testing of COVID 19 and neither veterinarians.
We are sure however that this will change in the near feature.

My pet has a cold, could it be COVID 19?
If your pet shows any signs of a cold, respiratory distress, or diarrhea a trip to the vet should be in order.
Your pet showing signs of an upper respiratory infection it does not mean that your pet was infected with COVID 19.  Upper respiratory infections in cats and dogs are common specially when they are under stress. Pets stress with changes, you being at home all the time now, is change. 

Can my pet contract COVID-19?
While 2 dogs in Hong Kong and 1 cat in Belgium have been reported to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets spread
COVID-19 to other animals, including people.
However, there is one study done that points in the direction that cats, dogs not so much, can be infected with COVID via aerosols and droplets but that the virus stays within the cat population only and It is NOT transmitted to humans.
Here is the link to the study: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00984-8?fbclid=IwAR0QZa0OKAE_s55glPUl6VUjHjoSX8Yf5yq7JSvUVuiI-OxKq28u8IHIMMQ 

Plan for your pet:  Something pet owner always need to plan for and think about is planning for your pets in the event that something happens to you. There is not better time than this, to start talking to friends and family about taking your animals into their home in the event that something was to happen to you. 

Once you know who that person is, put it in writing in a will. Do not let your best friend end up at a public shelter because your family doesn’t want your pet after you are gone. 

Pets that land in shelter do not always come out alive, and some get really sick and depressed. Your best friend deserves better than that. 

Hurricane Pets Rescue Inc. (HPR)

National all breed 501 C3 disaster relief nonprofit with headquarters in Miami Beach Florida. 

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April 2019
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