Q: Do any pets have the virus?
- A: On April 22, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed two cats in the US tested positive for the virus. They both show only mild symptoms and a positive test does not mean they have the same illness as humans. Two dogs and a cat also tested positive in Hong Kong. The cat showed no signs of illness and all were in close contact with an infected person with coronavirus. An additional cat in Belgium tested positive but there are questions still surrounding how the sample was collected. A tiger in the Bronx zoo also tested positive and further testing showed eight more big cats had been infected. One showed no symptoms, and all are doing well. Currently there is no information that suggests pets are a source of infection for people. Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of confirmed cases in humans and only a handful in pets (and almost all cats) around the world.
Q: Can pets get or transmit coronavirus?
A: The CDC and several international health organizations have not expressed concern about transmitting the virus to and from pets. However, if you are sick, restrict contact with your pets just as you would with humans. If you can, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are ill and avoid contact as much as you can including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding. If you must care for your pet while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact. There is no reason to remove pets from homes where COVID-19 has been identified unless there is risk that the pet itself is not able to be cared for appropriately.
Q: Can the virus be spread through pet food and products?
- A: There is no evidence to support the transmission of the virus on products through the shipping process and there are no reported cases in the US associated with imported goods of any kind. Most of our food products are produced domestically and none of them contain ingredients originating in China.
Q: Could there be a shortage of stuff I need for my pet?
- A: The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the FDA are working to identify any potential supply shortages. No animal drug or medical supply companies have reported any shortages, however there have been some claims of supply chain disruptions which could eventually lead to issues. You can keep updated here.
Q: What should I do if I am sick or tested positive?
- If you are sick, minimize the contact you have with your pet. Be diligent in washing your hands before and after handling your pet, touching their food, and managing their supplies. Hygiene in and around the house is always important, but more so now than ever. Clean commonly used areas with disinfectant spray or wipes. And if you see any changes in your pet’s health, consult your vet right away.
Q: What can I do to prepare for an emergency?
- A: You should always include your pets in any worst-case emergency preparedness planning. At a minimum, you should have at least an additional 2-week supply of food, supplies and medicine on hand. If you’re quarantined, you’ll need to spend 14 days at home.
Q: What are some other good resources of information?
- A: For in-depth coverage and updates on everything related to the coronavirus, check the Center For Disease Control (CDC) website here.
- The Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) has excellent global coverage of the outbreak. Learn more here.
- As mentioned above, the AVMA covers animal-related topics and can be found here.
Q: How are you supporting your employees in need?
- A: Our parent company, Independent Pet Partners, has established a $100,000 fund for employees in need of support in our four brands - Kriser's, Loyal Companion, Natural Pawz and Chuck & Don’s. The fund was established with a combination of donations from investors, board members and members of the executive committee. The money is being used to support employees who have been affected by the pandemic in a range of ways from doctor and utility bills to rent and other personal hardships.