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Pet Safety in a time of uncertainty and COVID-19

Storylines like this are typically saved for movies. What we are enduring globally is unprecedented, however, I am encouraged to see the sense of community building online and in our local communities as we stand together to help each other through this.  From helping our neighbors, to helping our local small businesses, it’s important that we heed this experience as we work to recover from this difficult time.  

We’ve included links in the content below to guide you to some resources we’ve found helpful.   

At this time, AVMA and the CDC state that the family pet is unlikely to develop COVID-19.  That’s helpful to know.  

As we continue to navigate this, there are things we can do to help us to stay safe, so that we can continue to care for our pets.  

  1. Practice social distancing. 
  2. Wash our hands and follow guidance provided by the CDC and health experts.
  3. As you stock your pantry, ensure you have 3 months of extra dog food/treats on hand. (Now is a great time to find some good dog treat recipes and try them out!)
  4. Be proactive – 
    • Document your pet’s health records.
    • Reach out to friends and family to ensure everyone has backup care arranged for everyone’s pets – just in case.  Creating a pet friendly network can give everyone peace of mind. 

There are other things we can do to help us manage our day-to-day and navigate stress.  This is especially important for our pets because they feel what we feel – and they too can become stressed. 

  • Turning off the news and having downtime away from news media can work wonders.  
  • Take time to practice breathing and meditation. 
  • Take your dog for a walk. The exercise and fresh air will do you both good (just remember – social distancing rules still apply outside).
  • Spend more time playing and snuggling with your pets indoors.
  • Be patient with yourself. This can be a stressful time for many, you are not alone – so phone a friend, enjoy a hot bath, watch your favorite movie or read a book to help shift your focus.

This too shall pass and no doubt we will all be changed by this experience. We will all learn about what is truly important to us –  the love and companionship of our family and friends, as well as a close sense of community. We need to ensure we thank and be extra kind to the first responders, doctors, nurses, care providers, store clerks, delivery personnel and everyone else working so hard to keep life as normal as possible for all of us. And we must not forget to give extra special attention to our companion animals as they provide so much comfort to us during difficult times.

Sending light and love.

Lindsey A. Wolko, Founder, Center for Pet Safety 

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