Thousands of County Residents are Pet Owners, and Many Have Asked How to Protect Them During the Pandemic

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– The first thing to remember: so far there is no evidence that domesticated animals can pass the virus onto humans or otherwise help spread the disease. Wash your hands before and after engaging with any animal. The risk of catching coronavirus might be slight, but they can still carry germs that can get you sick.

Veterinary services are considered “essential,” so many veterinarian offices remain open, often with special social distancing policies and procedures. Call first to confirm availability and any special steps you might need to take, but don’t neglect to give your furry friends necessary medical care.

Pet owners should consider identifying a caregiver for your pets in case you or someone in your household becomes ill or hospitalized — you want to avoid leaving your pets with a public shelter. Consider creating a written Emergency Planfeaturing your contact information, feeding instructions, any medical treatments and prescriptions, and contact information for others who can care for pets in your absence.

It’s a good idea to keep emergency pet supplies on hand at all times, including two weeks’ worth of food and medications, as well as a travel kennel. And make sure your pet has a tag or other identification in case they get lost.

You can, in most cases, delay your pet’s normal grooming routine. Dogs can survive getting a bit shaggy, but keep them brushed to avoid excessive matting. If you wash your dog, be sure to rinse thoroughly — leftover shampoo can lead to dermatitis or “hot spots,” which in turn can lead to infection. And don’t forget to towel dry them thoroughly.

Finally, you may have noticed that hot weather has arrived in San Bernardino County. Keep your pets cool by replenishing their water bowl regularly, limiting walks to the cooler early morning or evening hours, providing plenty of shade if they’re kept outdoors. Oh, and NEVER EVER leave them in a vehicle.

To learn more about COVID-19 related information pertaining to pets, including information on the County’s Homeward Bound Project Adopt, check out the following Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HomewardBoundPets/

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