FAQ: Animal Care amid COVID-19
COVID-19 has brought many changes into our lives, as well as concerns for our family -- our animals included. We care about our customers and your animals. Knowing there may be questions surrounding your animal’s care amid COVID-19, we have put together a resource addressing FAQs during this time.
Are animals at risk for COVID-19?
COVID-19 virus displays flu-like symptoms in humans, from mild to severe respiratory illness with cough, difficulty breathing and fever. A small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently addressed findings of a tiger infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans) at the Bronx Zoo in New York. Public health officials believe the large cat became sick after exposure to a zoo employee who was actively shedding the virus. In the news release, the department again confirms that, “At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread COVID-19 infection to people. Routine testing of zoo or personal animals is not recommended at this time.”
I have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Are my animals at risk?
The CDC reports there is a risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals. Because of this, the CDC recommends restricting your contact with animals, should you be infected, just as is recommended with people. If you are sick, request that another member of your household care for your animals if possible, and avoid any contact with your animals (and of course them). If you do not have someone to care for your animals during this time, ensure you wash your hands before and after interacting with your animals. Consider seeking any boarding options or pet sitters during this time, so you may heal, as well as help ensure your animal’s safety.
Could imported animals pose greater risk for COVID-19?
To date, the CDC does not have evidence to suggest that animals who are imported -- such as horses transporting from Europe, etc. -- pose any risk for spreading COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations. This rapidly evolving situation is being monitored by the CDC, the USDA, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), who regulate the importation of animals and products produced by animals into the country.
Are there necessary precautions to take with recently imported animals?
There is no evidence to date that animals can spread COVID-19. All imported animals will need to meet CDC and USDA requirements for entering the United States. Continue to monitor your animals, whether pets, horses or other livestock, for signs of sickness from other health challenges that can compromise their well-being. Discuss any symptoms with your veterinarian and ensure they are aware your animal was recently imported from another country.
How may I help ensure my animal’s health and happiness during this time?
Of course, interactions with your animals can continue, even during this time of COVID-19; however, be mindful of human social distancing recommendations for your own safety and well-being. Additionally, during this time as well as in other natural disaster and emergency situations, ensure you have at least two week’s supply of pet food or hay and grain for horses and livestock on hand. Also, if you have animals that require any medication, ensure you have an adequate amount needed for a possibly extended duration, per guidance from your veterinarian, as state-wide changes and mandates are ongoing.
May I still order supplies and medications for my animals?
Based on the most current federal guidance received, Valley Vet Supply qualifies as an essential service, which allows us to continue providing you and your animals with the trusted supplies and medications you need. We take our responsibility very seriously to continue providing you with the products you trust, with quick shipping and safe handling. Our team will continue fulfilling your orders as quickly as possible for as long as local, state and federal governments allow us to do so. We remain in close contact with our suppliers to ensure that our supply chain remains undisrupted.
What do I do if my animal is sick and needs to see a veterinarian right now?
In today’s COVID-19 environment, telemedicine can provide effective alternatives to in-person consultations while helping keep veterinarians, their clients and their animal patients safe. With this understanding, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently and temporarily modified their requirements for veterinary telemedicine. The updated guidelines allow veterinarians to more easily use telemedicine to examine animals through video examination to prescribe needed medications. If your animal is in need of veterinary care, contact your veterinarian right away and work together to determine the best mode for diagnosis. Veterinary clinics remain open to provide care, with many offering contact-free dropoff and appointments.
How is the Valley Vet Supply team managing through the COVID-19 outbreak?
We have a dedicated team of employees who are pet lovers, horse owners and ranchers, who take your animals’ health and well-being to heart. We continue to implement the best practices issued by the CDC to curtail the spread of COVID-19, and you can have peace of mind knowing we have extra precautions in place to help safeguard our team’s well-being.