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How To Safely Visit Your Vet During COVID-19

How To Safely Visit Your Vet During COVID-19

A vet visit can be stressful, as most pet owners will attest to. Dealing with a sick animal is a nerve-wracking experience as it is, and it’s even more so when a global pandemic threatens to jeopardize the health and well-being of yourself, your friends, and your family. 

Veterinary clinics and hospitals are essential businesses that provide important preventative and life-saving services for animals. Because of this, they must keep operating during the pandemic, but you may wonder, is it safe to visit a vet while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing? 

The good news is that while no activity is completely without risk, you can greatly reduce the risk of virus transmission by taking a few additional precautions before, during, and after a visit to the vet. 

To help you navigate veterinary visits in the midst of the pandemic, the Jovial Pet team has prepared a handy guide that outlines some of the precautionary measures your veterinary practice should adhere to, along with the steps that you, as a pet owner, can take to prepare yourself and your pets for a safe visit. 

What precautions vets are taking during COVID-19

It’s important to note that there have been a few confirmed cases of cats and dogs that have contracted COVID-19 in the United States. However, the CDC states that “at this time, there is no evidence that companion animals play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).” Based on the limited research that has been done, it appears that the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people remains low. However, further studies are needed to determine the role animals may play in the spread of COVID-19. 

To minimize risks, the CDC has issued a number of guidelines that veterinary practices need to adhere to in order to prevent the risk of COVID-19 transmission. These recommendations include: 

  • Requiring personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies for all staff. 

  • Prioritization of urgent and emergency visits and procedures over routine check-ups. 

  • Curbside dropoff and pickup. 

  • Social distancing inside office locations requiring a minimum of 6-ft of distance between staff and visitors. 

  • Telemedicine options. 

  • Having staff members hold animals to minimize contact. 

  • A designated plan for veterinary care if the pet’s household has been exposed or is suspected to have been exposed to COVID-19.

  • Using hands-free billing and payment options to reduce contact with fomites. 

What precautions pet owners should take before, during, and after a vet visit.

Pet owners should also take precautions to minimize the risk of catching or transmitting Covid-19. Below is an outline of steps pet owners can take before, during, and after your vet visit to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the SARS-Cov-2 virus. 


  • Discuss your pet’s needs with your vet in advance to determine whether your pet needs an in-person visit, a telemedicine appointment, or if it’s best to postpone a less-urgent exam or elective procedure. 

  • Monitor all members of your household to check for symptoms of COVID-19. Avoid bringing your pet to the vet if you’re experiencing any symptoms associated with SARS-CoV-2, such as fever or chills, respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, or general malaise. 


  • Be patient and receptive to your vets enhanced or evolving protocols. 

  • Wear a mask and maintain 6-feet of distance from veterinary staff or other patients whenever possible. 

  • Wait patiently in your car or other designated area outside of the vet’s office to minimize and reduce the amount of contact you have with veterinary staff or other patients. 


  • Wash your hands and disinfect your vehicle and other high-touch surfaces, such as your dog leash, after your pet has been returned to you.


It may be a good idea to give your local veterinarian a call to discuss whether they’ve implemented the recommended protocols to protect against COVID-19 before bringing your pet to their offices for evaluation. Ask what steps they’ve taken to minimize risk and compare them to the official recommendations issued by the CDC. 


With a little bit of effort, you can safely visit your vet during the pandemic. Taking the steps listed above will not only give you peace of mind and help keep your family safe, but will also protect the staff at your local veterinary clinic. 

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