While your pets are not in danger of getting infected from the coronavirus, you should still take precautions to make sure your pets are being taken care of should you fall ill.

The American Veterinary Medical Association said that domestic and international health organizations have confirmed that pets are not able to contract or spread the coronavirus.

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Sheila McClelland, the founder of Hong Kong-based Lifelong Animal Protection Charity (LAP), in a letter to the Hong Kong authorities, said, “Present evidence suggests that dogs are no more of a risk of spreading (coronavirus) than inanimate objects such as door handles.” The CDC reports that the disease is spreading person to person when through respiratory droplets or close contact.

The Cleveland Animal Protection League, APL, is recommending that pet owners prepare for pets’ needs alongside their own. Sharon Harvey, President & CEO of the Cleveland Animal Protective League, said, “We don’t want people to panic, now’s the time to stay calm. This is emergency preparedness, we need to have back up plans for our pets so they get the care they need too, because they’re part of the family.”

Precautions like identifying a pet sitter that’s available if you are not, having excess crates, food and supplies ready, making sure pets’ vaccinations are up to date, checking pets identification tags, and having a list of pets’ medications ready are always a good idea.

Harvey said, “The best thing pet parents can do is not panic and stay healthy for your pets by practicing good preventive measures, such as hand washing and avoiding close contact with other people. Every single day of the year it is crucial that you have a back-up plan in place for your pets in the event you become ill and cannot care for them for a period of time – even when there’s not a looming threat of pandemic.”

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Scientists believe the coronavirus started in Wuhan, China when it was passed from an animal to a human at an exotic animal market. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

Catch up on our coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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