Pets & The Pandemic

Experts say you don't have to worry about your pets contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus...but you should have a plan in place for them in case you do. NBC's Chris Clackum reports.

(NBC News) As Americans begin to settle into our “new normal” of keeping our distance from loved ones, some of the focus is now shifting to what effects the coronavirus could have on our pets.

Experts say our pets know when something’s not right.

Our pets know “something’s not right.”

“They can sense tension,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinarian of the American Kennel Club. “They can’t understand the words but they can understand the feelings and tone.”

Fortunately, that’s about all we need to worry about during the coronavirus crisis as far as they’re concerned.

“Neither cats nor dogs can get this form of COVID-19 coronavirus that is affecting humans today,” Dr. Klein says.

That’s backed up by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Organization for Animal Health.

Still, all strongly recommend having a pet emergency plan in place, in case we get the virus.

“We should have some type of record keeping for our family and friends to care for our pets if we are unable to,” Dr. Klein says.

In the meantime, take advantage of why you have a pet in the first place.

“They are a great source of comfort,” Dr. Klein notes. “They are blessings in that way.”

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