COVID-19: Can our pets get and transmit it?

Listen to this article put together some answers to frequent questions about pets in the age of COVID-19.

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According to the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be shared between people and our dogs, cats, or other companion animals. As of 3/11/2020, the CDC states:

There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.

Dogs and Coronavirus: FAQ

Courtesy of Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinarian on Rover’s Dog People Panel and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, these are some frequently asked questions about pets and the coronavirus.

Should I be concerned about my dog or cat picking up the novel coronavirus infection?

There is no evidence at this time that dogs or cats can become ill due to the novel coronavirus. There have been cases of dogs testing weak positive when they have been living with an infected person, but it is not suspected these animals can pass the virus to humans.

Should I be cleaning my dog/cat more often? Should I sanitize my pet in any way?

There are no particular precautions regarding keeping pets clean relative to the coronavirus.

If the pet was exposed to an infected person, it is theoretically possible that virus particles on their fur could be picked up by a human as a result of petting (although this is unlikely).

If a pet is suspected to have been exposed to an infected person, bathing the pet should resolve any concerns about them carrying virus on their fur.

Should I change my behavior around my cat/dog while this disease is going around?

There is no evidence to suggest this is necessary.

Should I be afraid of petting other dogs, going to the dog park, or gathering in large groups of other pets?

The concern here is from people, not other animals. Going to the dog park might expose people to other infected humans. There is currently no evidence to suggest that transmission from dog (or cat) to human has occurred.

Top photo by Tim Forkes