What To Do If a Pet-Owning Resident Becomes Ill with COVID-19

What To Do If a Pet-Owning Resident Becomes Ill with COVID-19

Woman and dog

It is a scenario few property managers had to consider prior to 2020—how to facilitate care for the pets of a self-quarantined resident.

While apartment communities know the CDC-recommended procedures to follow when a resident contracts or has been exposed to COVID-19, those measures are different if that resident is a pet owner. A 14-day quarantine is expected for potentially affected individuals, which prevents them from taking good care of their pets.

Properly prepared residents will have an ample supply of food and medications for their pets, but this doesn’t address bathroom breaks or exercise for the pet — particularly dogs.


Property managers should recommend that affected residents arrange for a friend or relative to take care of their pet. But they should also advise that all residents prepare for the possibility of outsourcing pet care in case they fall ill.

The Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative, a research and resource development initiative that promotes access to the joy of pets in every home, recommends specific steps:


It is a scenario few property managers had to consider prior to 2020—how to facilitate care for the pets of a self-quarantined resident.


While apartment communities know the CDC-recommended procedures to follow when a resident contracts or has been exposed to COVID-19, those measures are different if that resident is a pet owner. A  14-day quarantine is expected for potentially affected individuals, which prevents them from taking good care of their pets.

 

Properly prepared residents will have an ample supply of food and medications for their pets, but this doesn’t address bathroom breaks or exercise for the pet — particularly dogs.

 

Property managers should recommend that affected residents arrange for a friend or relative to take care of their pet. But they should also advise that all residents prepare for the possibility of outsourcing pet care in case they fall ill.

  • Identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if someone in the household becomes ill. If no family or friends are available, keep a list of local organizations and resources that can help find temporary foster homes for these pets. Fortunately, an increased number of families across the country are offering to foster pets in the stay-at-home environment.
  • Residents should keep crates and a month-long supply of food on hand, in addition to litter and other supplies that allow for the quick movement of pets.
  • Compile vet records and ensure pets are up-to-date on vaccines.
  • Document medications with dosage and administering directions, including instructions on how to refill prescriptions and contact information for their veterinarian.
  • Have identification readily available, including collar with ID tag and microchip information.
  • Individuals about to enter quarantine might want to keep their pet for support during the process, which seems justifiable from an emotional perspective. But an unaffected family member, friend or foster-care family will be able to provide more thorough pet care, including timely bathroom breaks and outdoor activities.

Individuals about to enter quarantine might want to keep their pet for support during the process, which seems justifiable from an emotional perspective. But an unaffected family member, friend or foster-care family will be able to provide more thorough pet care, including timely bathroom breaks and outdoor activities.


The Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative, a research and resource development initiative that promotes access to the joy of pets in every home, recommends specific steps:

Separating symptomatic and sick pet owners from their pets is not easy for a number of logistical and emotional reasons. But in the unique environment COVID-19 has created, it may be the safest protocol. Just as affected individuals should temporarily isolate from their families for the sake of safety, they should do the same with their pets.

  • Identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if someone in the household becomes ill. If no family or friends are available, keep a list of local organizations and  resources that can help find temporary foster homes for these pets. Fortunately, an increased number of families across the country are offering to foster pets in the stay-at-home environment.

  • Residents should keep crates and a month-long supply of food on hand, in addition to litter and other supplies that allow for the quick movement of pets.

  • Compile vet records and ensure pets are up-to-date on vaccines.

  • Document medications with dosage and administering directions, including instructions on how to refill prescriptions and contact information for their veterinarian.

  • Have identification readily available, including collar with ID tag and microchip information.

Individuals about to enter quarantine might want to keep their pet for support during the process, which seems justifiable from an emotional perspective. But an unaffected family member, friend or foster-care family will be able to provide more thorough pet care, including timely bathroom breaks and outdoor activities.

 

Separating symptomatic and sick pet owners from their pets is not easy for a number of logistical and emotional reasons. But in the unique environment COVID-19 has created, it may be the safest protocol. Just as affected individuals should temporarily isolate from their families for the sake of safety, they should do the same with their pets.


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