THRIVE Affordable Vet Care’s own Dr. Krista Miller recently called in to NPR to discuss Coronavirus and pet owners’ concerns on “All Things Considered”. Click here to listen to the interview in full or read below for a condensed excerpt.
Q: Many shelters have been looking for fosters and adopters. Is there a risk of contracting COVID-19 from adopted or fostered pets that may have recently been in contact with someone carrying the disease?
A: Transmission is primarily from human to human. With that said, it’s important to follow current guidelines, including washing your hands and the normal precautions of the day. There is no risk at this time or any concern around people adopting pets and having a transmission of COVID-19.
Q: My husband and I are in the process of adopting a dog. We are both working from home now, but what about when we go back to the office? Is there anything we need to do to gradually prepare the dog?
A: The best thing you can do is consider the age of the pet you’re adopting. Crate training, especially for puppies, is perfect for those returning to work in the future. Crate training can be a great, positive experience for your pet! Take the time for your pet to get used to their crate, so they view it as a happy place of positive reinforcement and not a place you send them when they do bad things. Once you’re away, your dog will consider the crate their place of comfort and their place of home. For the transition, you can place a piece of clothing in the crate, that you wear during the day or at night, to give them a sense of comfort and help them adjust to the change. However, pets can experience separation anxiety when things change, but like any person or pet, they just need to time to adjust.
Q: Based on the case at the New York City zoo, with the tiger that had similar symptoms as humans do with COVID-19, is this a concern we should have for the future? Should we be worried about COVID-19 moving from species to species?
A: There is not a huge concern regarding species to species transmission. It’s still being studied and explored, but not a worry at this time.
Q: In response to the economic decline, I’ve heard many pet owners are abandoning their pets. Is this true?
A: There are instances where this happens, but ironically, we have seen an increase in the number of visits from pet owners. There is a general concern about the health of pets, with many owners coming in with pets coughing and sneezing. The biggest thing for owners to remember is vets will test for several other concerns or diseases first if they believe a pet is ill – COVID 19 is not the first thing to be considered at this time. Typically, we see pets suffering from allergies, given this is the start of the season, so we are approaching these concerns from a normal, everyday standpoint.
Q: To your point, veterinary offices are open since they are considered essential services, correct?
A: That is correct. We are considered an essential service, as we prevent any other diseases that are zoonotic that can potentially spread from animals to human. There are other diseases that we know are zoonotic and can spread, so we try to prevent that as much as we can.
Thank you, Dr. Krista Miller! THRIVE Affordable Health Care remains committed to ensuring our pets and pet owners THRIVE! Learn more about our latest coronavirus service updates at thrv.us/coronavirus.