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COVID-19: Are your pets at risk?

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If you’re not living off-grid in the middle of the woods, you’ve heard of the newest coronavirus (aka COVID-19). In fact, most of us are closely following every news story and getting a bit more panicked every day. The virus has officially hit Minnesota, and pet-owners are beginning to wonder if their pets are also at risk of contracting COVID-19. At House Paws, we’ve been closely monitoring the news and reports from the CDC, WHO and various veterinary health organizations. Let’s get right to the point: based on the information we currently have, your pets are not going to catch this virus. That being said, there’s some things that all pet-owners should understand and keep in mind. Click on each of the links below for some important facts regarding pet health as COVID-19 continues to spread nationally and internationally.

While research on the COVID-19 strain is ongoing, current research has not found evidence that pets can contract the latest coronavirus. The CDC has not received any reports of pets or animals in the United States becoming sick with COVID-19. There also is no evidence that pets can be carriers of the virus and subsequently infect humans. Regardless, it’s important to keep an eye on the latest publications. Viruses can evolve, and any changes in the virus could affect how it is transmitted and/or spread.
If you’ve been infected with COVID-19, you’re in quarantine and limiting contact with other people. The same rule applies to your pets. Avoid all contact with them, and try to arrange for someone else in your home to take care of them. Don’t snuggle with your pets, pet them, kiss or hug them, or feed them. If no one else in your home is available to care for your pets, wear gloves and a mask and wash your hands before and after you have any contact with them.

If you have the virus and have had contact with your pet, don’t allow your pet outside any more than necessary. Don’t let your pet come into contact with other humans or animals.
Pets are not at risk of becoming infected, and they cannot be carriers. However, if someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 has come into contact with your pet, the virus could be sitting on your pet’s fur or in their mouth. If you let your pet lick you or touch your pet’s coat and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you could become infected. Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching your pets.
Currently there have not been shortages reported by any veterinary drug company; however, a handful of firms that make or source medications in China for the United States have reported some supply chain disruptions. If supply issues continue, we may see some drug shortages in the near future. It is recommended that pet owners keep a 2-week or greater supply of food and medications on-hand, in case of a future shortage.
As more research is conducted and published on COVID-19, we will continue to update you with any important facts related to the virus and pets.

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