This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT
Good news! The odds of your dog or cat contracting COVID are very, very low. Dogs, cats and people have their own species specific coronaviruses that are very rarely transmissible to other species. While COVID-19 most likely came from an animal, it is a virus that prefers humans. Dogs and cats have NOT proven to be highly susceptible hosts. Whew!
There have been a handful of dogs and cats in the United States that have tested positive for COVID-19 since March of 2020. These animals were most likely infected by COVID-19 positive people in the home.
What Should I Do If I get COVID-19?
If you or someone in your family gets COVID-19, it’s reasonable to isolate the infected person away from other people and pets in the home. However, if you live alone, this may not be practical. When I got COVID-19 in April, I was isolated from people but needed to care for my kitty. He continued to sleep on my bed and spend time with me. Currently, several million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 and their pets are seemingly unaffected.
Can I Get COVID-19 from My Cat or Dog?
Another piece of good news! There is no evidence that your pet can give you COVID-19. It is also unlikely, but possible, that your pet’s fur could carry the virus. COVID-19 doesn’t survive for any length of time on porous surfaces like hair. If an infected person sneezes or coughs on your pet, and you touch your pet followed by your face, you could potentially contract the virus in this manner. If you are concerned, you could always give your pet a bath, isolate your pet for a couple of hours or get outside with your pet in sunlight.
What Symptoms Will My Pet Have with COVID-19?
If your pet has a cough, nasal discharge, fever, vomiting or diarrhea, talk with your veterinarian. These symptoms are unlikely to be from COVID-19, but they do warrant a veterinary visit. If you or someone in your house has COVID symptoms or has tested positive and your pet is having symptoms, inform your veterinarian. Tests for COVID-19 for pets are readily available.
This pandemic is scary and stressful. Our pets are one of the best antidotes we have. They make excellent quarantine buddies and will remain their happy selves no matter what’s reported on the daily news.
I would love to hear from you! Do you have any questions about COVID-19 and pets? Leave a comment below!
With so much love,