Spotlight: Spare a thought for pets

Just as the institutional quarantine for all incoming travellers has come into effect from February 15 with some relaxation to children and senior citizens, a few hotels have come up with a unique facility for the pets.
They are hosting pet owners along with their pets either on a staycation or in quarantine.
The quarantine conditions due to Covid-19 have put people, particularly pet owners, in a situation in which they have to undergo compulsory quarantine with a question — where to keep their pets?
The offer from some hotels has come in handy for many people, who otherwise were in a fix.
“We can accommodate up to two pets in a room weighing a maximum of 20kg per pet. We have specific pet-friendly rooms, where we provide a pet bed, food and water bowls,” said Hendrick Calles, General Manager at Hilton Garden Inn, the first pet-friendly international hotel chain in the country. He said the pets have the option of delicious canine and feline meals.
Year 2020 is unforgettable for human beings. However, those with pets would agree that their pets enjoyed being with their owners most of the time at home.
During these stressful times when the world is going through a pandemic, the emotional and mental benefits of owning a pet are even more valuable, especially during self-isolation or quarantine when one has little or no contact with the outside world.
When the institutional quarantine came into force, people who keep pets were found asking about the well-being of their pets. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), people infected with Covid-19 should avoid close contact with their pets as their sneeze or cough can spread virus particles on the animal’s fur. Experts say that this can be a transmission route. However, just as humans, they too need to be cared and taken preventive measures.
By offering pet facility, the hotels have sorted the major issue of the pet lovers. They are offering the guests a clean quarantine facility and sanitised facility for their pets. The owners are relieved from the worry about leaving their pets alone at home or in boarding.
Although there is no evidence that the virus can spread from an animal to a person or vice versa, researchers, however, are studying various possibilities of the virus being transmitted through the animals.
Nonetheless, certain precautions need to be taken when the owners of these mute creatures handle them regularly. Primarily, one should avoid frequenting the pet shops as chances of contracting a disease these days are high, according to veterinary doctors. Also bathing and grooming at these shops need to be avoided. Instead, hygiene at home should be maintained.
“Pets shouldn’t be allowed to get in contact with other animals or people at least for the time being while outings should be curtailed just for the physiological needs of the animals while crowds, such as parks and other open places, should be avoided,” a veterinary expert commented.
Along with pet care, one shouldn’t let go the personal hygiene, and the pet owners should wash hands before and after touching animals, food their faces and avoid showing love for the animals by kissing or sharing food with the pets.