For many pet owners, the Covid pandemic has put a lot of strain and anxiety on not only their own way of life but the lives of their furry friends as well. For many people, their pets are a part of the family and worrying if your pets are going to get proper medical attention when needed and how the pandemic may affect your pet’s access to medical care is a natural feeling to have right now. To give Canadian pet owners peace of mind, we have answers to some of the most pressing questions regarding vet visits during Covid protocols.
Are Vet Clinics Open During Covid?
Vet clinics are an essential part of pet, human, and community health, so just as regular hospitals and clinics, vet clinics will stay open throughout lockdowns. However, many vet clinics have chosen to participate in certain precautions to ensure the safety of pet owners and vet clinic workers during Covid, including curbside vet services, telemedical care, as well as emergency-only services.
What Precautions Are Vet Clinics Taking For Covid?
Like any other workplace or medical care space, vet clinics are taking all of the necessary precautions to preserve safety and well-being during Covid. In addition to telemedical care and curbside service (which we’ll touch on later), vet clinics are maintaining safe social distancing between vets and pet owners, ensuring the proper use of masks, sanitation, and other PPE, as well as encouraging sick or exposed workers to remain home.
What Is Veterinary Telemedical Care?
Veterinary Telemedical care can have different meanings depending on the vet clinic that you call, however, the guidelines of telemedical care involve the ability to call your vet clinic and receive advice depending on the descriptors of your pet’s behaviour or appearance. From the owner’s description, a veterinarian can tell their customer to either wait and watch their pet or schedule an appointment. This practice can help diminish the number of check-ups and in-person vet visits during covid.
How Does Curbside Vet Service Work?
Curbside vet services have become a very common covid safety practice among veterinary clinics because it allows for the vet to examine and potentially treat your pet without being potentially exposed to the virus. This is what you can expect during curbside vet visits:
- Small dogs, small pets, and cats should be in a carrier, and large dogs should be on a leash
- Park your vehicle in the designated curbside spot of your vet clinic’s parking lot
- Call your vet clinic, who will send a technician or assistant out to you who is fully protected with a mask and other PPE
- The assistant will collect your pet and bring them in for an examination
- The vet will call or video call you to diagnose your pet and to figure out the next steps
- Your pet and your vet bill will be delivered back to your car
What About In Case Of Emergency?
Most vet clinics will not turn away emergency patients, however, it’s in your best interest to call ahead. While many services such as dental, physical check-ups, or nail trimmings are going to be put on hold for the time being, emergency vet services take precedent. Unfortunately, in case of euthanasia (emergency or otherwise), every vet clinic has a different policy, some do not wish to have anyone in the clinic for any reason, others may let one or two family members in to assist the process, sanitizing the room once they’ve left.
What To Do As A Pet Owner?
It can be a really difficult and confusing time to be a pet owner right now, as the pet health experience at vet clinics has been shifted due to Covid. However, there are a few things that you can do to make the experience easier for yourself and your pet, including:
- Keep an emergency stock of food and medicine for up to two weeks
- Wash your hands and follow Covid protocol
- Be patient and kind with the workers at your local vet clinic
- Invest in pet insurance for your furry friend to help reduce costs and stress
Make your next vet trip easier for you and your pet
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