Veterinarians and Pet Care Facilities

COVID Safe Practices for Veterinarians & Pet Care Facilities


  • Adhere to Required COVID-Safe Practices for All Employers.
  • Adhere to Required COVID-Safe Practices for Retail Establishments.
  • Retrain employees on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Promote the use of telemedicine/teleconferencing as much as possible when compliant with state regulatory statutes.Instruct customers to wait outside and call upon arrival. A single employee will come outside to greet them when available.
  • Accept customers on an appointment-only basis except for emergencies.
  • Promote curbside service as much as possible. When appropriate, encourage owners to drop the animal off with an employee.
  • All runs, cages, exam tables, tubs, instruments, equipment, etc., are to be disinfected between uses.
  • Arrange for house call appointments only if absolutely necessary. Requirements include:
    • Enter the home only if absolutely necessary.
    • Examine small animals in your vehicle if appropriate.
    • Wear masks at all times when in a client home.
    • Disinfect all instruments used during the visit prior to being placed back into the vehicle.
  • For Animal Shelters and Rescues:
    • Avoid out of state transfers of animals until travel restrictions are lifted per the Public Health Order.
    • If an animal from a known COVID-19 positive household enters a shelter, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommendations should be followed, currently summarized as:
      • Utilize gloves and personal protective equipment when handling exposed animals.
      • Bathing is not necessary, as there is no evidence to support animals can be fomites.
      • Hold known exposed animals for 14 days prior to adoption or foster.
      • House exposed animals separately from general population out of an abundance of caution.
      • Allow dogs to be walked outside for exercise and elimination. Remove organic waste immediately and sanitize area in accordance with normal process. Any waste (urine, feces, blood, saliva, nasal discharge or vomit) should be handled as medical waste.
      • Limit close contact of exposed pets with humans during the segregation period.
      • Avoid direct contact with other animals during the segregation period.
      • During the segregation, spot cleaning is preferred to minimize handling.
      • Sanitation of the area is as recommended for routine cleaning and disinfection of kennel areas.
      • Animals demonstrating clinical signs and exposure to SARS-CoV-2 should be evaluated and discussed with the NM State Veterinarian. Any testing for SARS-CoV-2 in animals must be approved by the NM State Veterinarian.
  • For Equine and Canine Training Facilities:
    • Adhere to maximum occupancy limits per the State’s Public Health Order.
    • In-person consultations or training sessions shall be conducted either outdoors or in the training facility while practicing social distancing. In-home training or consultations are prohibited.
    • Participants under 18 years of age are allowed one guardian who must remain in a designated area.
    • Client appointments must not overlap.
    • Instruct clients to arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to appointed time and depart immediately after.
    • Training tools are to be disinfected between classes. Class participants are encouraged to maintain and use their own tools.
    • No hosting of camps or child daycare.

Best Practices

  • Install plexiglass sneeze guards at cash registers wherever possible.
  • Arrange for contactless payment and receipt options to the greatest extent possible.
  • Screen employees and customers with a no-contact thermometer; individuals with a temperature reading above 100.4°F should be denied entry.
  • Offer face coverings and gloves to customers.

Additional Resources

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