Sheltering in Place with Your Pet

Mar 14, 2020

Aw - everybody likes a good snuggle-buddy!
Credit Bryan Alexander [Flickr]

In addition to preparing for your pet's care if you and your furry buddy are quarrantined together, also consider what might happen if you just can't get home.  Let your neighbors know your pet might need some care, or have a trusted friend who will make sure your four-footed companion is taken care of.  

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As this is being written, the coronavirus – or COVID-19 – has spread through our country and is found in 47 of our 50 states. Parades have been cancelled, along with school and university classes, even major sporting events.

A lot of folks are stocking up on things in preparation for the possibility they may have to self-quarantine, or shelter in place. It’s not a bad idea to make sure you have some necessities, such as food that will stay good for a while, and medications, particularly prescriptions. Some officials are working with insurance companies to cover a 90-day supply – just in case.

If you are putting back some items to tide you over in case you can’t get to the store easily, consider including supplies for your four-legged family members. Dog food, cat food, even treats, are usually packaged for a longer shelf life, so add those items to the list for your furry buddy. For other types of pets, your list might include bird seed, or fish food. For cats and certain other indoor pets, don’t forget the cat litter. And be sure to talk with your veterinarian about medications you may need for your pet.

There has been some concern about whether you can catch the coronavirus from your dog or cat. There are a few zoonotic diseases that can pass from animals to humans, such as rabies. But the coronavirus? There is no indication that you can catch it from your pet, working either as a carrier or as a transporter of the virus on its fur. Dr. William D. Schaffner, a preventive medicine professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has said that it is highly unlikely that you can catch any virus simply by petting your dog or cat after someone else has handled the animal.

So, in these trying times, what better way is there to settle in and remain calm than by cuddling up with your furry best friend? No dog (or cat) at your house? Maybe you need to visit your local animal shelter and find your own four-footed friend. You can help each other face whatever trying times may be ahead – together – when you’re speaking of pets.

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