Taking care of pets during an emergency

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Saint Francis Animal Center (SFAC) wants to make sure the public knows how to keep pets happy and healthy during these strange times.

While there is no evidence to indicate that pets can contract or transmit COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends those who may be sick with COVID-19 “limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.”

With that said, it is important to have a care plan in place for pets. SFAC suggests asking a “friend, neighbor, or family member to care for pets if someone in your household becomes ill and/or is hospitalized.”

Having this contingency care plan is extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic as many pet boarding businesses may be closed.

A pet emergency kit is good to have on hand at all times, but especially if you need to get your pet to a different caregiver on short notice.

SFAC suggests one kit per pet, containing the following:

  • Two-week supply of food and water stored in an airtight container
  • Food and water bowl
  • Can opener (if using canned food)
  • A crate/temporary housing space
  • Pet carrier and leash
  • Medication with doses and directions
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Vet records
  • Cleaning items
  • Comfort items
  • Litter and litter box (for cats)

Finally, pet identification should always be kept up to date and accessible. SFAC says to ensure that your pet’s microchip registration has your current contact information, keep collars with current phone numbers on pets, and keep a printed picture of your pet with vet records.

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