Coronavirus outbreak: How to travel with pets

The coronavirus outbreak has greatly impacted travel for humans, but what about our furry friends?

Traveling amid rising bans and advisories from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is difficult to navigate, and it is further complicated when traveling with a pet.

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To make it easier on yourself and your four-legged best friend, Dr. Oscar Chavez, BVetMed, MRCVS MBA and chief medical officer for JustFoodForDogs, shared with Fox News the safest – and most stress-free – way to vacation with your pet during the pandemic.

According to Dr. Chavez, the safest way to travel is not to travel — or at least avoid traveling by plane.

If you must travel, Dr. Chavez advises using a crate and traveling by car, to keep you and your pet as safe as possible.

If you must travel, Dr. Chavez advises using a crate and traveling by car, to keep you and your pet as safe as possible. (iStock)

“Stay put if possible. Definitely avoid air travel,” he said to Fox News.

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But if you must travel, Dr. Chavez advises using a crate and traveling by car, to keep you and your pet as safe as possible.

Though dogs and cats have both always had coronaviruses that do not affect humans, COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus distinct from those that have affected dogs and cats, said Dr. Chavez, citing a Pomeranian in Hong Kong that tested with a weak positive for the virus. Though the dog was placed in quarantine, Dr. Chavez stressed that vets in the U.S. and around the world cannot confirm if the dog is truly infected as there was not sufficient evidence of symptoms.

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Despite this, and other unknowns about its impact on pets, Dr. Chavez says to practice the same precautions one would to prevent infections: isolate them from others who have the coronavirus, and keep an eye on them.

If you are traveling, or even staying home, Dr. Chavez urges pet owners to stock up on food and supplies in case of unexpected events such as quarantine.

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If traveling by plane is absolutely unavoidable, make sure the airline you are flying on is accepting animals in-cabin, and use an airline-approved crate.