Protecting Pets If You Catch COVID-19

Coronavirus in dogs and cats like this stripey one in a blanket can be serious

COVID-19 has affected the world, and its pets. Not only because coronavirus in dogs and cats is a thing, but economic and societal changes have led to all sorts of unanticipated phenomena, like stolen dogs being on the rise.

Thankfully, the zoonotic virus generally has little to no effect and symptoms tend to be mild. That said, COVID-19 is constantly evolving.

New strains may affect animals faster and more severely than old ones did. This is why prevention is better than cure. So if you or someone you know has COVID, has had to isolate in the last 14 days or is waiting for a test result, here are precautions to take around pets:

Help prevent coronavirus in dogs and cats – tips

If you’re wondering ‘can animals get coronavirus?’ the answer is yes. Cats, dogs, ferrets, hamsters and rabbits can all get COVID-19 as can lions, minks, apes and more. When you’re sick with coronavirus, you should treat your pet like you’d treat humans.

Here are some of the precautions to follow:

1. Enlist others to care for your pet

The best scenario is to have another person you live with take care of all the usual care duties for your pet until your tests come back clear. Please don’t handle any of your pet’s items – especially without gloves! – because that immediately increases the infection risk.

If you live alone, you could weigh up the pros and cons of kennels vs pet sitters. If you have to care for your pet even while you’re sick, follow steps two and three as best you can.

2. Bring in the best hygiene practices

If you simply can’t get someone else to care for your pet while you’re sick, then go slow and take your time to ensure hygiene is top priority. Importantly, wash and disinfect your hands before and after touching water and food bowls, ped beds, all their toys, and so on. Of course, always wear a mask whenever you’re out of your quarantine room and sharing a space with your pet/s.

Wondering about masks on pets? They don’t need one. They’re definitely not recommended in the prevention of coronavirus in dogs and cats because they can be hazardous to pets. Masks can easily get tangled around their neck and become a choking hazard, not to mention cause significant distress because they’re not used to their face being covered.

Coronavirus in dogs like this grey one with blue eyes can be serious

3. Pet-human social distancing

As you would with other humans, social distancing from your pet is another top priority. It’s not for a long time; just take a breath and do it. It will take some restraint – no petting, cuddling or kissing – but you don’t want to be the reason they become under the weather.

Coronavirus in dogs and cats can be avoided and should. Recent news is that vets are seeing an uptick in myocarditis cases in pets, due to their parents having COVID.

Keep at least 2m away to be safe and know that you’ll soon be giving them allll the love and affection you both need before you know it.

4. Self-isolate to prevent coronavirus in dogs and cats

We know COVID is easier to navigate with pets by our sides, especially when we have stay-at-home orders. However, when you’re sick it’s really important to self-isolate by staying in different rooms from others in your household, including pets.

Keep them away from you too, by using baby gates or shutting off doors… perhaps house them outside (with shelter) for the time being? Or maybe they can stay somewhere else until you’re COVID-free?

We know self-isolation is no fun, but neither is infecting others. When COVID is only a memory you can go back to sleeping with your cat or sleeping with your dog in your bed.

When you can be around pets again

The Australian government says you can stop self isolating at home when you’re medically cleared to do so – and only then.

Until that time you’re not allowed to exit your front door unless you need urgent medical care or during some kind of emergency where you’ll be harmed if you stay. This could be a fire or due to domestic violence, for example.

If you think your pet has become infected, then you don’t need to worry about them infecting you back. Read COVID-19 in animals to find out how to care for them.

Coronavirus in dogs and cats doesn’t require a trip to the vet unless your furry family member is sick, but the risk of spread to other dogs/cats is worth considering. It’s best to talk it through with your vet on the phone.

Coronavirus in dogs and cats on the bed like this tabby can make them sick

Reasons for preventing coronavirus in dogs and cats

It’s vital to protect your cats and dogs from getting it, for several reasons.

Coronavirus in dogs and cats can lead to viral symptoms in them, which can make them uncomfortable. Also, pets can potentially pass it onto other pets (though we haven’t yet seen cases where they pass it to people).

Another serious reason is that the more hosts a virus has, and the larger the variety of these, the greater the chance it will mutate. With every mutation of COVID-19 it adapts and evolves…

Hence why preventing coronavirus in cats and dogs is so important. Keep pup and puss happy and healthy, and in doing so we decrease the potential of them contributing to the development of a new COVID strain that may be an even greater threat to mankind.

Here are some more pet safety tips re: COVID 19 in animals you may want to check out.

Pet insurance for a soft landing

COVID-19 vaccination for pets has been developed, but it’s not in public use or necessary at this point.

As for pet vaccinations, if you buy our wellness package add-on for the Classic and Deluxe pet insurance plans then your dog and cat are covered. They’ll also be covered for things like microchipping, desexing, boarding fees and more.

How would you, like to proceed?

How would you, like to proceed?