The COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes to just about every aspect of our lives, including pet adoption and veterinary care. Dr. Ian Scholer, a veterinarian at Hill Top Animal Hospital, offers some advice for people considering adding a pet to their family.
First, and perhaps most important, be patient. “Everything is taking longer than usual with the recommended safety protocols,” Dr. Scholer said. “Many shelters are requiring reservations to meet potential new pets, so be sure to call ahead.”
Pets adopted through legitimate sources, such as shelters, likely have been checked out by a veterinarian, but it’s always a good idea to get your new pet in for an appointment with your preferred veterinarian. Because of COVID-19, though, many clinics are scheduling patients pretty far in advance.
“You definitely need to go ahead and make an appointment right away to get in and have your new pet checked out,” Dr. Scholer said, “and to discuss vaccines, flea and heartworm prevention and any other needed care.”
When adopting dogs, it is especially important to socialize them and meet new people and other pets. With the current social distancing recommendations, it’s important to do so carefully. Dr. Scholer advises avoiding crowded parks, including dog parks, for the time being. Instead, focus on interactions with healthy family and friends and dogs who are healthy and up to date on their vaccines.
Dr. Scholer says potential pet parents should not worry about transmitting COVID-19 to pets (or contracting it from them). “There have been very few cases of COVID-19 transmission from people to pets,” he said, “and no known cases of transmission from pets to people.”
Hand washing remains important, though, especially after cleaning up after your new pet and before eating.
Dr. Scholer and the staff at Hill Top Animal Hospital are happy to help in the pet adoption process.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 706-303-4571 or go to HillTopEvans.com and follow Hill Top Animal Hospital on Facebook and Instagram. Hill Top Animal Hospital is located at 505 Greenbrier Ave, in Evans.