Recent news reports about dogs and cats testing positive for the coronavirus may have you wondering if you’re at risk of catching COVID-19 from your pet. Let us set the record straight—and set your mind at ease.
First, it’s believed that most domestic pets have caught the virus from their owners or other humans they crossed paths with, say officials from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While these cases mark the first apparent human-to-animal transmission of the coronavirus in the US, there’s no scientific evidence that the disease can be transmitted from pet to human. COVID-19 is primarily a human disease that is transmitted by direct human-to-human transmission in respiratory droplets, and secondarily by touching a surface where the virus is living.
There Is No Evidence That Indicate Pets Can Spread COVID-19 To Humans
So please don’t panic or fear that your cat or dog could spread the disease to you and your family.
The CDC, however, does recommend that pet owners keep their furry friends on a tight leash—literally and figuratively—by keeping pets at home or in their own yards to avoid exposure to humans who may be infected.
If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19—or are showing symptoms of the disease—treat your pet the same way you would any family member. Isolate yourself and avoid contact with your pet as much as possible (no snuggling, sorry!); have another household member provide daily care; wear a face mask if you must tend to your pet; and disinfect surfaces pets come in contact with (food bowls, toys, beds, etc.). And wash your hands!
It’s also important to know that if your pet begins to show symptoms of respiratory disease (sneezing, nasal discharge, coughing, difficulty breathing) and fever, we have special kits available to test for COVID-19. These are veterinary-specific tests—not the hard-to-get ones meant for humans. And please note that these are NOT screening tests. We use them only after we’ve ruled out other more common causes for respiratory symptoms your pet may be having.
We hope that this reassures you that while humans can pass the coronavirus on to some animals, science says there’s no evidence that animals can pass this disease to humans—so take the same precautions with your pets as you would with people.
The COVE’s COVID-19 Protocols
As we continue to adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation at hand, we want to assure you that we are still open and able to assist your clients and patients. Click here to learn about our protocols and schedule for seeing specialty patients. Our emergency department remains open 24/7 – no appointment is ever needed.
If you have any questions, we’re just a phone call away at (757) 935-9111—at any time, day or night.