At SPCA Wake we are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. As our staff is planning the care of our shelter pets, we encourage you to make contingency plans for your pets, just in case you and your pet are separated.
“At this time we do not have evidence that pets can get or spread COVID-19, although it is always good for people to practice careful handwashing after handling your pet and after picking up and disposing pet waste. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick, so you and your pet can get the best care.”
Dr. Gail Hansen, DVM, MPH
Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association
If you have a pet, having a plan in place is critical because those who become seriously ill or require hospitalization will need to have someone to take care of their animals.
Here are some suggested steps:
- Identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if someone in the household becomes too ill to care for pets.
- Have crates, food and extra supplies on hand for movement and relocation of pets if necessary.
- Keep all animal vaccines up to date in the event that boarding becomes necessary.
- Ensure that all medications are documented with dosages and administering directions. It’s a good idea to include the prescription from your veterinarian with the medications and your pet’s to-go bag.
- Pets should have proper identification: a collar with ID tag and a microchip with current, up-to date contact information.
The coronavirus has introduced a good deal of uncertainty into our lives, but being prepared can make a world of difference. You can watch this video to hear a veterinarian answer questions about pets and the coronavirus. We’re keeping a close watch on related developments and will provide consistent updates in the future.
(Special thanks to Humane World blog for these preparedness tips)
Pets and Our Mental Health
It is well known that pets can have a positive impact on our health. Having a pet has been found to lower stress levels and decease blood pressure, but their effect on our mental health is perhaps the most beneficial at this time. Pets can be a tremendous comfort to people who are feeling anxious or lonely. Their very presence is comforting, and we could all use some of that.
While it is important to have a plan if the worst happens and you and your pet are separated, it is equally important to recognize the positive impact of keeping our pets with us.
As we all find ourselves spending some more time at home, we encourage you to turn to your pets (as much for your health as for theirs). Here are a few things you can do with your pet to help your mood, provide them with enrichment, and still adhere to the social distancing guidelines:
a) Take a walk! Your dog will love the opportunity to smell the new scents in the neighborhood and you’ll get away from the house for a while. As long as you don’t head straight for the neighborhood playground, you’re still social distancing.
b) Try teaching your dog (or cat!) a new trick! Does Fido know how to shake? What about teaching him to spin in a circle? A quick Google search of simple dog tricks should provide plenty of inspiration. All you need is patience and some tasty treats.
c) Break out your camera and use this time to get some beauty shots of your pet(s). Try outside, try inside, try different lighting and different times of day. If you have family at home, try for some group shots or candid ones of the family playing with or cuddling your pet(s).
Have another idea for a fun activity to do with your pet? Message us on Facebook!