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How you can take care of your pet during the coronavirus pandemic

Heidi Patterson from South Care Animal Medical Center answers some of the most commonly asked questions about pets and the coronavirus.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — With many stories coming out about animals contracting the coronavirus, it can be confusing to navigate how best to take care of your pet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Up with KREM spoke to Heidi Patterson from South Care Animal Medical Center to get talk about some of the most common questions pet owners have. 

There's no proof your pet can give you the coronavirus, but you might be able to give it to your pet.

Although there have been documented cases of animals testing positive for the coronavirus, there's no proof that animals can give it to humans. 

Patterson said some pet owners have even gone so far as to surrender their pets over fears that their pet could give them the coronavirus. 

initially when coronavirus started being really visible the biggest thing we saw was people relinquisjhing their pets to shelters because they felt like their pet would be a source of infection to them and there is absolutely no evidence of that at this time."

However, it is possible that you could give your pet the coronavirus. Patterson recommends if you're feeling sick, you should take precautions with your pet just like you would your human family members. 

"Just like with any other illness, if you are not feeling well, if you have respiratory disease, if you're vomiting or you have gastrointestinal symptoms, it's probably best that you're not getting super close contact with your pet which can be challenging," Patterson said. "Make sure that if you're having illness symptoms you're not hugging them, sharing food with them, the things that we generally do when we're trying to bond with our pets, basically."

You can still get veterinary care for your pets, but interactions between staff and clients have changed.  

If you're worried about your pet, you can still reach out to your veterinarian for care, but interactions between you and the staff are likely to be different. 

"Right now at South Care we don't have any clients in the building," Patterson said. 

If you take your pet to South Care, a staff member will meet you outside, and take your pet into the building. After the exam, they'll call you to talk about their findings. 

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