Holiday Pet Safety During COVID-19
Our lives wouldn't be the same without our pets' love and companionship, which is all the more enhanced during the holidays, particularly this year. As we approach this unprecedented holiday season, it's important to keep the safety of our pets in mind.
While there will likely be less 'hustle and bustle' this year, it is noteworthy that pets tend to get lost more during the holidays. Please be sure that your pet is wearing up to date tags, stays indoors, and under your supervision at all times. It also helps to have a clear and recent picture of your pet on your phone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low" and "there is no evidence that viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets."
However, because there is a risk of transferring COVID-19 from people to pets, the CDC recommends that we treat pets as we would our human family members to protect them. This includes preventing those who are confirmed to have COVID-19 (or are symptomatic, or have been exposed) from having any contact with our pets, including food sharing.
In general, the CDC recommends social distancing from nonhousehold members for people and our pets.
(Those who must care for pets while sick are currently advised to wear a mask around them, avoid contact when possible, and wash hands before and after interacting.)
Please note this information can change as the CDC learns more about COVID-19.
If you do have guests, kindly advise them not to feed your pet - which is all the more crucial during the pandemic, and keep your pets safe from eating toxic foods, plants, and other hazardous items, such as cleaning supplies, people toys, and decor.
Preventing unnecessary stress for our pets is also essential for their happiness and health. Festivities, no matter how big or small, can feel overwhelming, even for the most social pets. Giving them extra playtime beforehand and ensuring they have a quiet space to retreat can help reduce anxiety.
With our animal companions bringing so much joy into our lives, it is understandable that some may consider a pet a cherished gift. If you're planning a pet as a gift, whether for your family or another, please consider adoption over purchasing. It is crucial to avoid pet stores, which are, unfortunately, linked to animal cruelty - regardless of if they sell animals online or in person. And as always, thoroughly consider an animal's individual personality and how they will fit into their potential family's lifestyle and home environment. Pets become forever family members when they join our lives, no matter the time of year.
While this season will be challenging, the holidays can still be enjoyed - especially with the love of our pets.
Additional pet-safe tips:
Holiday Pet Safety Tips (ASPCA)
People Foods That Are Toxic For Pets (ASPCA)
What To Do If You See A Pet Left Out In The Cold (Straight Twist)
The Problem With Pet Stores (ASPCA)
5 Ways To Protect Pets This Winter (HSUS)
COVID-19, If You Have Pets (CDC)
COVID-19, Pets and Animals - FAQ (CDC)
(scroll down to 'Pets and Animals')