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‘If tested positive, limit interaction with pets’
Apart from the worry about their health, another concern many pet parents, who are tested positive, are facing is the safety of their pets.
While pets neither harbour nor transmit the virus, they can act as contact surfaces. Keerthi Priyadharshini, the founder of Dog House, a homestay for dogs in the city, says that considering the emotional wellbeing of pets, it is better to hand over the pet to a healthy individual until the pet parent recovers fully. “A pet animal needs a lot of care and attention. If the entire family is tested positive and is asked to quarantine at home, then they will not be in a position to take care of their pet. The members of the family suddenly start distancing themselves from the pet and the pet will start feeling lonely and depressed. In such cases, I would suggest handing over the pet to someone whom you know or contact a boarding facility. They will be able to give complete attention to pets including walking the dog, cuddling, grooming and playing with them,” says Keerthi.
If only one member of the family is tested positive and is quarantined at home, he/she has to limit their interaction with pets. “It is not just in the interest of the individual’s and pet’s safety but also considering the health of other family members. If possible, avoid complete interaction and let another member of the family take care of the pet. If you are a pet parent who is addicted to petting and do it every few minutes, then take all the precautions - wear masks and gloves while petting. Don’t let pets lick your face or hands. Also, sanitise your dog’s collar, leash, bed, toys, etc, periodically. We don’t want the pet to be a medium of transmission to other people,” she adds.