SPCA New Zealand

COVID-19 and what this means for your companion animals

17 March 2020
COVID-19 and what this means for your companion animals

There’s lots of information about COVID-19 filling up newsfeeds at the moment, and you may be worrying about how this may affect your pets.

Keep reading for some advice from SPCA to help keep you informed on the virus and how it may impact your companion animals.

Do I need to worry about my pets and COVID-19?

Currently, there is no evidence that companion animals, such as cats or dogs, can be infected with or spread COVID-19. People are advised to check the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) websites for updates – any new advancements will be announced across these.

What should I do if I’ve been asked to self-isolate?

If you have been asked to self-isolate, as a precaution you should avoid contact with animals in your household. This includes petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. You should also wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

Should I have a plan in place for my pets?

The worst time to try and make arrangements for your pet’s care is when you are already sick. SPCA encourages all owners to be proactive and have a backup plan for care for their companion animals.

This includes:

  • Setting up an arrangement with a friend or family member, pet sitter or boarding facility to provide care should you or someone in your household become ill.
  • Making sure your companion animal is up to date on their vaccinations, in the event boarding becomes necessary.
  • Ensuring all your companion animal’s medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions. Including a prescription from your veterinarian is also helpful.
  • Ensuring animals have identification including a collar with current identification tags and a registered microchip.
  • Creating a list of useful contact details such as your vets and pet insurance provider.
  • Having crates, food and extra supplies on hand.

By creating a preparedness plan ahead of time for the unlikely event it becomes necessary to put into motion, you can spare yourself and your pets unnecessary stress.

What other resources are available?

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control http://www.cdc.gov
World Health Organisation https://www.who.int/
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
World Small Animal Veterinary Association


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