Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 (coronavirus) a pandemic because of the increasing number of cases around the world. With many countries imposing travel bans and cancelling large-scale events to limit the spread of the virus, it’s safe to say the world hasn’t faced this much disruption in years.
With governments now advising people to stay home if they feel ill, one has to wonder how this virus affects our furry friends, especially if their owner comes down with the virus? According to WHO, “there is no evidence that pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus,” although further studies in the future may bring new findings. Nonetheless, this is fantastic news for pet owners who may be concerned about how their beloved pet may be impacted by the virus.
As this situation changes on a daily basis it’s best to be prepared, especially if you have to isolate yourself and stay home. Keeping this in mind it is best to have an emergency kit stocked and ready should you need it. This kit can include enough non-perishable food and bottled water for two weeks for you and your pet as well as a supply of any medication you or your pet may require. Additional items that are beneficial to have are a first aid kit, a flashlight, extra batteries, a manual can opener, and matches.
While the coronavirus is characterised by mild symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever, and difficulty breathing in severe cases. People with weakened immune systems or pre-existing medical conditions are more susceptible to contracting the virus, which could lead to pneumonia.
If at any time you begin to feel unwell consider giving your pet to a family member to watch while you try and get better. If there is nowhere for your pet to go, try and limit the amount of physical contact you have with your pet (i.e. avoid kissing your pet, sharing food etc). As a responsible pet owner, the last thing you would want to do is put your pet’s health at risk.
The most important thing to remember is that if you are feeling unwell it is vital that you consult a health care professional immediately. That way you can get tested for the coronavirus and put yourself in isolation to avoid spreading the virus to other people.