Your Pet and Covid-19

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Your Pet and Covid-19

Spending more time at home amid the fears and crazy changes that Covid-19 has caused?

If so, there are some things to consider in regards to your pet. At our hospital, we have been busier. Why? Because when people are at home with family and their pets, they are spending more time petting, playing with and walking their pets. While we LOVE this
about our new remote environment, it also means that you might be more likely to notice that lump, bump, rash, limp, cough, etc. that your pet is exhibiting. If this happens, we absolutely want you to call
your Veterinarian and talk to us about any concerns that you have.

However, in the days and weeks to come, we do anticipate an increase in our business. So, like other establishments, please follow these recommendations:

  • Don’t come in if you are sick!
  • Use social distancing the best you can when in the waiting areas, 6ft is ideal, but if the waiting area is more populated, try to maintain a 3ft minimum between yourself and others.
  • Don’t bring extra family with you to your appointment (which is tempting, because it’s an
  • opportunity to get out of the house!
  • Use good hygiene and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds!
  • If you are sick and have no one else to bring your pet, let us know. We can come get your pet from the car and talk to you on the phone while we examine and treat your best friend.
  • If you have been sick (or a family member) and have been holding and/or petting your animal please let us know.

Your pet might be a FOMITE – What? What the heck is that?

Fomite: objects or materials which are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils, and furniture.

So if you have the flu and you sit on the couch all day with your pet on your lap and you are sneezing and coughing on them, their coat can carry viral germs. And you certainly can’t spray them with Lysol or wipe hand sanitizer on them! So if you or a family member has been sick and holding, petting, feeding and caring for your pets, then please let us know so that we can take precautions (like wearing gloves, gowns, masks, etc.) We can absolutely still treat your pet, just with extra care!

For further information regarding companion animals and Covid-19, please see the following link from the World Health Organization for Animals.

As I write this we are hearing of veterinary offices that are switching to a drop off and curbside approach to treating their patients instead of allowing clients into their buildings to limit everyone’s exposure. We also are very concerned about our own staff catching Covid-19 and spreading it. We can’t be here for your sick beloved pets if we are all sick ourselves. So please CALL AHEAD to your local Veterinarian to check their current situation individually.

Do’s and Don’ts when home with your pet for extended periods:

  • DO stick to their regular schedule as much as possible! Pet’s rely on us to provide structure for them, just like children. They WILL pick up on our fear and anxiety during this trying time, so keep things as normal as possible! This will help them be less anxious and stressed and help keep them healthy! Keep the same feeding times and walking times.
  • DO give them some extra attention! Playtime is fun and healthy for everyone! However, long walks at this time aren’t a good idea, especially when the weather is nice. Practice that social distancing and stick to areas in your own yard or close to it.
  • DO work on training. Now is a great time to reinforce those behaviors that you want your pet to continue and try to extinguish behaviors that you don’t like. Start some new great habits to replace some bad ones while you have the time! Here is a great resource to get you started.
  • DON’T panic! As mentioned above, our pets are very tuned in to their humans. They can and will get stressed and anxious themselves if we keep ourselves in a panic. Pet your dog or cat and let them know that everything is OK! It’ll help keep you happier and healthier too!
  • DON’T give them more treats, table food or “goodies” that might cause gastric upset or weight gain! They are used to not eating while you are gone all day, so even when they are under foot, looking at you with those sweet eyes, avoid the temptation!
  • DON’T overstimulate your pet. If you have extended playtime and they are tired and try to leave the area, give them their space. Remember that your pet is used to sleeping and having downtime when you are normally gone all day. Overstimulation can cause some pets to become irritable and exhibit unwanted behavior. If your pet is acting nervous, anxious or tired, give them a rest.
  • DON’T take your stress and anxiety out on your pet. I know that none of us to this consciously or on purpose, but now is the time to be extra patient and calm with pets and children and elderly family members alike! If you find yourself getting upset, take a time out!

Reach out if you Need Us!

We will remain open regular hours, so rest assured that Jefferson Animal Hospitals will be here if you need us. For those of you able to practice social distancing, we recommend you do so. This is a great time to take stock of good things you have in life, so take a moment to be extra grateful for your pet and be attentive to their health in the midst of everything.

For appointments and emergencies at Jefferson Animal Hospital Regional Emergency and Trauma Center (4504 Outer Loop, 40219, call us at (502) 966-4104.

For appointments at Jefferson Animal Hospital Fern Creek Medical Center (6902 Bardtown Rd, 40291), call us at (502) 499-6535.