CAN I HAVE CONTACT WITH MY PETS DURING MY ISOLATION PERIOD?
There is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19. As a precaution, if you are sick you should avoid close contact with them, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. You should include your pet in your isolation bubble so that just like you, it has no contact with anyone while you are undergoing isolation.
You should continue to take appropriate hygiene precautions such as washing your hands after contact with your pet.
Can I leave my home to exercise my dog while I am isolating at home?
When you are self-isolating, you can exercise outside your home in your neighbourhood. Remember to physically distance yourself from others while you’re out.
HOW DO I BUY FEED FOR MY ANIMALS?
You cannot leave your home and will have to organise the purchase of animal food either online or over the telephone so it can be delivered to your property without any contact between you and the deliverer.
CAN I TEND TO MY ANIMALS IF THEY ARE ON ANOTHER PROPERTY (INCLUDING EXERCISING MY HORSE)?
You have to stay isolated in your home.
You will need to arrange for someone else to tend to your animals while you are in isolation.
If your horse is on the same property where you are undergoing home isolation, you can exercise your horse on that property but not come into contact with other people (eg. on the perimeter of your property). If your horse is kept elsewhere you will have to arrange for someone to look after your horse.
IF I GET SICK (AND CAN’T LOOK AFTER MY ANIMALS) OR I AM ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL, WHAT HAPPENS TO MY ANIMALS?
You will have to arrange for someone to look after your animals.
If you have to leave the property, and there is no one remaining on the property who can look after your animals, you should seek advice from the DHB or the people supervising your isolation arrangements, if someone can come onto the property to tend to your animals.
For pets, you could arrange for someone to pick your pet up eg. family or whanāu member, or a friend.
A further option is that your pet may be able to go to a boarding kennel or cattery. Remember your pets will need to be up to date with their vaccinations and any other requirements to go into a boarding kennel or cattery, otherwise they will not be allowed access. If your pets are not vaccinated or vaccinations are not up to date, you will need to make arrangements with a family or whanāu member, or a friend to take your pet.
See section on contactless handover below.
Getting other people to look after your animals
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF TRANSFER OF COVID-19 IF I PASS MY ANIMAL OVER TO SOMEONE ELSE TO CARE FOR?
There is no evidence that animals in New Zealand have been involved in the transmission of COVID-19 to humans. See information below on contactless handover.
CONTACTLESS HANDOVER OF PETS
Pick up of your pet will need to be contactless with appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures. The handover should be managed outdoors if possible, and in a designated area with minimal foot traffic.
If your pet is small enough to be safely secured in a cage or cardboard container, the cage or box may be dropped off in the designated area preferably in a place outside of your dwelling so that it can be picked up without contact. The person picking up the pet may retrieve the cage/box with the animal in it while following physical distancing guidelines.
Cardboard boxes should be destroyed after use. Cages should be cleaned after use with normal household bleach and left in the sun. Wear plastic gloves.
If your pet is larger and can be secured safely by a lead and collar, you should consider having it secured in the designated area for example, in front of your property, for a contactless handover.
CAN A FRIEND, FAMILY MEMBER, OR NEIGHBOUR COME ONTO MY PROPERTY TO CARE FOR MY PET(S)?
Isolation means that you cannot have contact with people during your isolation period to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. You will have to care for your own pets providing you are well enough to do so or check out other options as below.
CAN A FRIEND, FAMILY MEMBER, OR NEIGHBOUR COME ONTO MY PROPERTY TO CARE FOR MY HORSES OR LIFESTYLE ANIMALS?
You should discuss whether you can do this with the District Health Board (DHB) or the people supervising your isolation arrangements.
If your animal needs to see a vet
MY PET NEEDS A VETERINARY VISIT – WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You should only arrange for a veterinary visit for your pet if it is urgent. Non-urgent appointments should be deferred until you have completed your isolation period. Contact your veterinarian to assess your situation and make an appointment as you normally would.
If you are isolating, you will not be able to leave your home. You will, therefore, need to arrange for someone to pick up your pet to take to the veterinarian. This needs to be a contactless handover (see information below on contactless handover).
You will need to advise the veterinarian that you are currently isolating and they will advise what steps you will need to take to safely transfer your pet to the veterinary clinic.
CAN A VETERINARIAN COME ONTO MY PROPERTY TO LOOK AT MY HORSE OR LIFESTYLE ANIMALS?
Yes, it is possible. You will need to talk to the DHB or the people supervising your isolation arrangements and you will also need to advise your veterinarian about your situation.
Veterinary visits must only be for urgent situations. Contact your veterinarian to assess your situation and make an appointment as you normally would.
Contact with animals from a COVID-19 positive household
WHAT PRECAUTIONS DO I NEED TO TAKE IF I’M GOING TO RECEIVE OR BE IN CONTACT WITH AN ANIMAL FROM A COVID-19 POSITIVE HOUSEHOLD?
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against COVID-19. You should also wash hands (before and after handover), wear a mask, and maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres.
Contact with exposed surfaces is not considered a significant risk for COVID-19 transfer. Therefore, we do not recommend any decontamination of the animal’s coat or fur. There is no need for animals to be quarantined.
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