Coronavirus COVID-19 and Your Pets: What You Need to Know

With the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCOV, there are a lot of questions about what we can do and how this affects people with pets at home. Questions such as can my pet catch the coronavirus or carry the virus and spread it have all been research and reviewed and the World Health Organization put out the below graphic to address concerns people may have about the novel coronavirus’s ability to spread from your family pets to humans. The good news is that there is no evidence that pets can spread the coronavirus. However there are still precautions that need to be taken. 

coronavirus covid-19 and pets


What the Animal Hospital of Sussex County Is Doing to Keep You and Your Pets Safe During the Coronavirus COVID-19 / 2019-nCOV Outbreak

We understand that many businesses, schools, and organizations have temporarily closed or asked their workers to telecommute for now and in the weeks ahead. However as a veterinary medical facility, we also understand the importance of being able to help you and your pets should any situations or emergencies arise. Pets, like people, need healthcare, prescription food, and medication even during times of concern or crisis and we’re committed to helping you and your pets throughout this challenging time.

What to Do if You Need to Come to the Office – updated as of 3/20/20

We are remaining open to provide you and your pets with essential veterinary care. However, to ensure the continued well-being of our clients and staff members, we are limiting interactions inside the building. We have been frequently disinfecting high traffic areas & surfaces, and we do have hand sanitizer available for all of our clients.

We are also offering Veterinary Video Consults for minor issues and injuries so that you do not have to come into the office in person.

Please call first! Whether you need to schedule an appointment or have an emergency, calling first will alert our team that you are on the way so that we are best prepared to help upon your arrival with your pet. The front door is remaining locked at this time to limit interactions and the potential spread of the virus – so calling us is essential! 

*For clients picking up food or medications:

  • We ask you please stay in your vehicle and call us at 973-579-1155 to let us know that you have arrived and we will come to you.
  • Please give us your payment information over the phone when you call. One of our receptionists will then bring your items and receipt to you in your vehicle.
  • If you need to pay by cash or check, please have the amount ready when you arrive and we will pick up payment outside at your vehicle when we bring the food or medications to you.

*For clients arriving for scheduled appointments:

  • Upon your arrival, please remain in your vehicle and call us at 973-579-1155 to let us know that you are here.
  • We will come outside to get your pet when an exam room is available, and ask you to please remain in your vehicle for the safety and health of all of our staff and other clients. Doing so will allow us to limit any interactions and help us do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 while still providing essential care for your pets.
  • If you do not have a cell phone, please knock on the door (which is remaining locked for safety purposes at this time) and let us know that you have arrived. We will then have you wait in your car until an exam room is ready at which point we will come get your pet for their appointment.

You can read our full guidelines and additional information here: Office Visits at the Animal Hospital of Sussex County During COVID-19

You can also follow the news and updates right here on our practice website at and we are updating our website regularly as additional news and information becomes available.

We understand that this may be frustrating, however we ask for your patience in this matter as it allows us to assist in keeping the overall health of our community and pets as our primary focus during this challenging and unique time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to serving you in any way we can.

Official Guidelines During COVID-19 Outbreak

While there is no evidence that pets can spread the coronavirus, people can and the ways in which it can be spread are still being studied and confirmed. At this time, both the CDC and the World Health Organization have published guidelines on how to prevent spreading of the virus. Read more below.

CDC’s Guidelines for preventing the spread of the disease.

World Health Organization’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth Busters. 

We’re also following the CDC’s guidelines for offices and workplaces. We already follow strict cleaning and disinfecting processes and hygiene practices around the clinic for the safety of all of our patients and clients. In addition, we’ve hired professional assistance with cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces every Sunday. This is on top of everything we already do on a regular basis every single day in the clinic. 

Coronavirus COVID-19 FAQs for Pet Owners

The American Veterinary Medical Association has published a very helpful list of information and FAQs for pet owners to help during this outbreak. 

Read the full PDF on Coronavirus COVID-19 FAQs for Pet Owners.

We are also following news and updates on COVID-19 from the AVMA on a regular basis and following all recommended protocols to keep our staff and patients as safe as possible. 

Our Certifications

AAHA: The Animal Hospital of Sussex County is a certified hospital in the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). To achieve this distinction, our hospital has passed regular comprehensive inspections of our facilities, medical equipment, veterinary practice methods and management. If you are traveling or relocating anywhere, finding an AAHA hospital will ensure the best medical care for your pet. The AAHA is recognized as the world’s leading association of small animal practitioners.

AAFP: We are also a cat friendly practice, certified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. This means that the Animal Hospital of Sussex County is specifically set up to decrease stress and provide a more calming environment for your cat. Our staff has also been trained in feline-friendly handling and understanding cat behavior in order to increase the quality of care for your cat.

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