Keep pets safe by having an emergency plan

Despite misunderstanding or speculation over a quarantined dog in Hong Kong, the Centers for Disease Control say no animals in the United States have been identified with the coronavirus as of this writing.

Although there has been a report of a dog in Hong Kong that appears to have a weak positive test result, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the illness. The World Organization for Animal Health has confirmed that the current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human-to-human transmission.

Since COVID-19 is a respiratory illness spread via droplets, taking precautions similar to common flu prevention is the best course of action. Being proactive in preventative measures and having an emergency plan are the best ways to protect you and your pet.

Be prepared to take care of your pets in the event that you should become ill:

Identify a family member or friend who can care for pet.

Have crates, food and extra supplies (including medications) on-hand for quick movement of pet. A pet first-aid kit is also good to have.

Ensure your animal’s vaccines are up-to-date in the event boarding becomes necessary.

Document all medications with dosages and administering directions, including the prescription from your veterinarian if a refill could be necessary.

Pets should have identification such as an ID tag on their collar and/or a microchip. Remember: A microchip is only as good as the contact information registered to it.

For additional emergency preparedness tips and pet care resources, visit

Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 256-1ARF (1273)