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COVID 19 and Pets: What You Need to Know

--Kelly Donnelly, Executive Director

We have been getting questions about the Coronavirus, getting from pets, and risks for pet families. First and foremost, do not panic. This is one of those rare times that our isolation works in our favor. According to the CDC, "To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19."

So what should Alaskan pet families do? Wash your hands. Frequently, and always after handling your pets. Use the same advise we give children--sing two verses of "Happy Birthday" or "For She's the Jolly Good Fellow." It takes about 20 seconds which is the recommendation for destroying the virus. In the unlikely event that COVID 19 makes it to Alaska there are several measures you'll want to take. If you're sick, try to arrange for someone else to care for your pets. That's not always an option, however. If you no other option, wash your hands before AND after caring for your pets and wear a face mask. Hand sanitizer is your friend.

Our staff at the clinic and Adoption Center follow strict protocols to protect pets, pet families, and themselves, including frequent hand washing (are you sensing a theme?), gloves, and sanitizing products. At the Adoption Center the kennels and cat condos are cleaned frequently throughout the day. All animals admitted to the Adoption Center receive wellness exams, vaccinations, and any treatment for any conditions discovered during exams.

Lastly, take good care of yourself. If you're ill, stay home from work. Don't infect your co-workers, friends, and the general public. This advice applies to the common cold as it does COVID 19. We will weather this together friends. Keep your heads, wash your hands, and take good care.

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