According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is currently no evidence that pets can contract or spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people. Regardless, here are a few tips from the United Horse Coalition to help keep you and your barn animals safe during this outbreak.
1. Stay at least six feet apart from other people
The COVID-19 virus is primarily spread through person-to-person contact. Respiratory droplets from an infected person’s coughs or sneezes can land in the mouth, nose, or eyes of anyone near them. It is best to maintain a distance of six feet or more between each party to avoid spreading the virus.
2. Limit the number of people in the barn
Limiting the number of people in the barn at one time is the easiest way to maintain a six feet distance between them. It may be helpful to create a virtual schedule for boarders, owners, and workers to limit the number of people present in the barn at one time.
3. Actively encourage those feeling sick to stay home
Staying home when you are feeling ill is the safest way to protect the community around you from catching your germs. Out of caution, those ill with COVID-19 should limit contact with animals. Borders and horse owners should have enough supplies (feed, bedding, etc.) at the barn for their animal for at least two weeks. It is also encouraged to write down any special care instructions. That way, in the event that you become ill, barn owners will have everything they need to look after your animal.
4. Perform routine environmental cleaning and disinfecting
Barn hours should be changed to allow more time for extensive cleaning and disinfecting. High traffic areas should be deeply cleaned and disinfected multiple times a day. Other good hygiene practices such as frequent washing of hands and respiratory etiquette should be emphasized.
The following surfaces should be disinfected a minimum of once a day:
- Water and feed buckets
- Cross ties and lead ropes
- Halters and tack
- Grooming supplies
- Water taps and hoses
- Stall and barn door handles
- Wheelbarrow/shovels/broom handles
- Frequently touched areas like doorknobs, light switches, etc.
For a printable infographic with this information, click here.