Coronavirus and What It Means For Your Pets

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With people and businesses grinding to a rapid halt this week after Rhamaposa’s announcement on people to people contact restrictions on Sunday, and the rate of infected people increasing drastically within a matter of a week, it is evident that South Africa is going into lockdown.

What does this mean for our furry friends?


Of course, our pets will be far happier having us home, even if we’re not ‘present’, we’re home. But what are the risks?  There is a lot that is currently unknown about the novel coronavirus pandemic, but most of what is known should come as a relief to pet owners.

Where did COVID-19 come from?

It is believed the virus originated from exotic animal food markets in Wuhan, China. Domestic animals do not appear to be carriers of the virus. Advice from the Veterinary Medical Association, is to interact with your pet as you normally would if you do not have the virus.

According to an article in the New York Post. The World Health Organization currently reports there is “no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.” However, the first dog to test positive for coronavirus died in Hong Kong Monday, causing alarm for many pet owners. The pooch, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, passed away Monday after being returned home to its owner following a government quarantine and a retesting negative for the virus.

What do you about your pet if you have coronavirus?

Contact your vet – but be patient. The virus is novel to everyone and management protocol is changing as we learn more about COVID-19.

The CDC says anyone who is sick with the coronavirus should restrict contact with any animals just like you would around other people. If you or another family member contracts the virus, the CDC recommends having another member of your household care for your animal.

The best defense is to be prepared

The ASPCA suggests that “A pet’s first line of defense is a well-prepared owner, and we strongly encourage pet owners to take the necessary precautions and incorporate pets into their preparedness plans to keep their family — including their pets — healthy.”

Build an emergency kit

An emergency kit that can include a 30-day supply of your pets’ medications, as well as at least two weeks’ worth of food and other supplies, such as kitty litter. Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification info: pet name, telephone number, and urgent medical needs.

The JHB SPCA will be posting updates on a regular basis, so you can get the latest news and updates on our site.

Please download this poster that gives all the details needed to ensure you and your pet are both protected.

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