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What will you do with your pet if you get COVID-19? Experts say prepare for the worst.

Posted at 6:26 AM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 19:18:06-04

CLEVELAND — If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19, it can be hard enough taking care of yourself, let alone your pet. But Sharon Harvey, the director of the Cleveland Animal Protective League, said planing ahead can make all of the difference.

“Every indicator points to the best place for your pet is with you but you need to have this backup plan in place ,” she said.

That plan should include making sure you designate someone to care for your pet if you cannot, whether that be a family member, friend, neighbor, whomever.

“Do everything you can to find someone because we don’t know how full our shelters are going to become with animals that have been exposed, or animals that have been in another emergency and, of course, we are going to have our own potential challenges with staffing,” said Harvey.

Have a bag ready with supplies your pet may need: a 30-day supply of medication and, at least, 2-weeks supply of food.

If you don’t have a crate, now may be the time to get one, that way your pet can be easy transported.

Also, make sure you have identification for your pet.

Harvey said it’s never too late to plan.

“If you’re not sick, absolutely, do this right now so that you are ready in the event you do become unable,” she said. “Once you get that sick or once you have to be taken to the hospital you’re not going to have time to put this together.”

It’s important to note, at this time, the CDC reports there is still no evidence that companion pets can get COVID-19 from a human. However, the American Veterinary Medical Association said if an animal has been exposed, observe it for any signs of illness.

If you do get sick, and don’t have anyone who can provide for your pet, call your local animal shelter, they should be able to get you some help or point you in the right direction.