“Get Your COVID Paws Off The Couch!” How to Keep Your Pets COVID Free

It may surprise you to learn that beloved pets worldwide have been infected with COVID-19 after close contact with COVID-19 infected humans.  The CDC states the the risk of pets spreading COVID-19 to people is  low.  However, the risk is higher that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to pets.  Meaning your pets are at risk from getting sick from interactions with COVID positive individuals.

Accordingly, our family has been treating our 4 dogs as we do strangers, neighbors, and other human family members – we do not let them interact with people outside the home.  We suggest you do the same - whether it be a dog, or pet.

Mandy, a neighbor of ours, recently became sick, but failed to isolate herself from her pets.  She recovered, thankfully, but not before the family experienced a scare when their poodle started sneezing excessively!  The dog was isolated herself, but ultimately tested negative.  If Noodles (Mandy’s Poodle) had turned out to be infected, the veterinarian had explained that the symptoms would most likely have been mild to moderate.

A great deal of research is being done to figure out how COVID is transmitted across species.  The CDC describes it as a “rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.”

Until we learn more about how the dynamics of cross species and inter-species transmission, we advise VRBH customers to treat their fur babies pets as you would other human family members to protect them from any possible infection by:

  • Limiting your pets interaction with people outside your immediate family household.
  • Keep them indoors whenever possible and do not let them roam freely outside the home without a leash.
  • Avoid public places where a large number of people congregate.  If you absolutely have to be in such a setting, we absolutely recommend keeping a minimum distance of 8 feet between yourself/pet and other pets and owners.
  • Never put a mask on your pets, as they can cause significant harm and obstruct their breathing.  Pet respiratory systems and oxygen intake mechanisms are not analogous to ours.
  • The CDC also warns that you should not bathe, or wipe down pets with disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, hand sanitizer, counter-cleaning wipes, or other chemical cleaners.  This should seem like common sense, but there have been documented instances of pets getting seriously ill because their owners thought they were “disinfecting” them.
  • If your pet becomes sick, do not go to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian first and let them know.  They maybe able to arrange a drop-off, or even a home visit.

Finally, now that we have all the do’s and don’ts out of the way, we can address the other major issue that COVID has bestowed upon us - being stuck indoors.  Pets, like humans, enjoy socialization and being outdoors once in a while.  COVID restrictions, however, don’t have to put a damper on your pets fun.  Try stimulating your pet by getting them a new toy like Ramen Noodles nose work puzzle toy or a Topple treat dispensing feeding toy.  If you ever find your pet getting restless, breakout one of these toys to stimulate both their minds and bodies while having a bit of fun.

Suffice it to say, we pet owners have a responsibility to our pets to keep them safe from harm - but it doesn’t have to be overly complex.  Just follow the tips outlined above and we’ll make it through together - as healthy and furry as ever!
-  The VRBH Pack

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