Including pets in your COVID-19 preparedness plans

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the rise globally, it is important for Saskatchewanians to include pets in their preparedness plans. The Saskatchewan SPCA is encouraging people to follow some simple steps to help prepare for a lifestyle disruption that may result from the virus.

“Our pets are members of the family. As such, taking the necessary precautions to ensure their wellbeing is a vital part of any emergency preparedness plan,” said Josh Hourie, Community Relations Coordinator with the Saskatchewan SPCA. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty in all areas of life. One thing we can still control is making sure the animals in our lives are looked after in the event that we are unable to care for them,” continued Hourie.

The Saskatchewan SPCA offers the following tips to ensure preparedness:

  1. Have an emergency kit: keep a two-week supply (or more) of pet food and water, as well as any medications they may need and a travel crate, properly labeled with your pet’s name and your contact information.

  2. Identify trusted family or friends who can care for your pets: have at least three options lined up in case they become sick or hospitalized. Ensure you have spoken with these individuals before you consider them an option.

  3. Create a written emergency plan for each pet: include your name and contact information, your pet’s feeding schedule, any medical conditions, and treatment instructions. Document your pet’s vaccination status, and list the contact information for your veterinarian.

Unless you are hospitalized and live alone, keep your pets with you, even during self-quarantine – the best place for them is at home. Take necessary precautions with all loved ones, including pets, and practice social distancing on walks, keeping two metres of distance from other people and pets.

The Saskatchewan SPCA recommends staying diligent in preparations, but not overreacting to COVID-19 concerns. By being prepared, you’re helping to ensure essential shelter resources do not become overwhelmed. Moreover, your pets will be spared from unnecessary stress.