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By Zubin Bhettay Co Founder & CEO
This is a challenging moment for our society, and communities worldwide are grappling with an outbreak of global scale and impact. Some have said that this is a once in a generation moment. Make no mistake, we’re in uncharted territory and our main objective must be to halt the spread of the virus and provide care in our communities. As the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise, we have an obligation to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
Many cities around the world have issued a “shelter in place” order - asking people to stay home as much as possible and only leave for essential needs. More cities will follow, and these steps will help us flatten the curve by reducing the number of new infections per day. We’ve been urged not to panic, and that authorities are working to ensure that adequate supplies are available and discouraging panic buying.
Information is constantly changing as it relates to COVID, and much of this uncertainty and ambiguity has extended to how we best care for our pets. Fuzzy veterinary and telemedicine team has been fielding questions from concerned pet parents about “what about COVID-19 and our pets”?
Update: On 4/22, 2 cats in New York tested positive with COVID-19. Both had mild respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery. Public health officials are still learning about COVID-19, but there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the US. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare.
Authorities stress that there is still no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the US. From the CDC:
"There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19."
That said, it is important to note that while the main transmission of COVID-19 is from human to human through respiratory droplets, some of which can be transmitted through contact with surfaces. It is therefore advised that when walking your dog (it is recommended to keep walking your dog and staying active), you walk them on leash and maintain six-feet distance from anyone else. In addition, if you’re sick with COVID-19 symptoms, you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. Although there have been no reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the US, this can help ensure both you and your animals stay healthy until we learn more.
AVMA advises that you should “Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.”
With most people being directed to stay indoors we understand that your pet may require veterinary treatment or you may benefit from advice on how to best provide care for your pet. Fuzzy is offering our telemedicine, telehealth, and triage support service available to pet parents nationwide at no cost. Our team is available through digital chat, or through the Fuzzy Pet Health App - where you can also request a video consult with one of our veterinarians.
Have questions about your pet’s health? Questions about COVID-19 impact on your pet’s health? Start a digital health consult now.