Sask. government says COVID-19 patients should avoid animals
The provincial government says animals can self-isolate with their owners
The Saskatchewan government is warning anyone who has COVID-19 to avoid contact with animals, just as they should avoid contact with people.
A news release from the province says that while there is no evidence domestic livestock and pets can be infected with or transmit COVID-19, it says the possibility has not been ruled out.
It says if there is already an animal in the household, that animal should remain in isolation along with the patient.
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association said in a statement that if someone has COVID-19 and a pet, people should:
- Avoid close contact with them — such as don't snuggle or kiss them, let them lick you, sit on your lap, sleep in your bed
- Avoid coughing or sneezing on your animals and cough into your sleeve
- Have someone else in the same house care for your pet if possible
- Wash your hands before touching or feeding your pet
- Keep your pet indoors or limit their contact with other people and other animals
The province is also warning people that if they become sick with COVID-19, humane societies, veterinary clinics and boarding kennels may not want to care for the animals due to uncertainty around the virus.
The provincial government suggests preparing for the possibility by identifying someone who could care for your pets if you become sick or end up in the hospital.
Pet owners are advised to keep crates, food and extra supplies on hand in case of self-isolation or being quarantined. As well, the province says pets' vaccinations should be up to date and they should have a collar with an identification tag.
With files from The Canadian Press