COVID-19 has arrived on our doorstep and our families, fur children included, need to be taken care of. “We’re making alternate preparations for every aspect of our lives, from the way we work to the way we shop, but what are we doing for our pets?” notes David Roache Managing Director of dotsure.co.za.
While the World Health Organisation has released a statement noting that pets probably can’t contract COVID-19 or pass it onto humans, transmission of the virus is possible the same way it is from any surface. If the virus particles make their way onto your pet’s coat, either by someone’s touch or cough, and your pet is then stroked by someone else, infection is possible. Roache suggests washing your hands before and after stroking your pet, and bathing them regularly (dogs), especially if there are other people living or self-isolating in your home with you.
If you fall ill or need to be quarantined, it’s important to have a plan in place to make sure your pets are properly taken care of throughout the quarantine period. Having an informed family member, or friend, on standby to care for your pet in case of any emergency, will give you peace of mind and limit any added stress during an already tumultuous time. Having a few weeks’ worth of your pet’s food and any necessary medication they may need with instructions on hand will also help.
“If your only option is to use a boarding facility, do some research on what places are available in your area and make sure your pets’ vaccinations are up to date to avoid being turned away,” adds Roache.
While there are still so many unknowns about COVID-19, and the world as we know it right now, for that matter, it is incredibly important to take extra care of our pets’ health as well as our own, including our financial health. “Following a global pandemic like this one, it makes sense to tread carefully with our finances to ride out any lingering uncertainty. That’s why we should be protecting ourselves from the risk of a shock vet bill. By making sure your pets’ vaccinations are up-to date and that your pet insurance covers illness, you’re saving yourself from possible high unexpected costs in the future.”
While ‘lockdown,’ ‘social distancing,’ ‘quarantine,’ and ‘self-isolation’ are all frightening terms we need to get our heads around, we can choose to look at this as a time to reflect, catch up on all those things we haven’t been able to do or complete until now, and soak up all the pet cuddles we can. “It goes without saying that our pets bring us joy and are natural stress-relievers in times of heightened anxiety. That’s why having a contingency plan in place that includes your pets will take the stress out of the unknown, preparing you for any unforeseen occurrences,” Roache concludes.
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