Should I worry about my pets contracting COVID-19?
National and local public health officials are still struggling to contain the COVID-19 virus. With human infection rates rising every day in the U.S., it’s natural for pet owners to worry about their four-legged family members too. After several months of tracking worldwide research on pet infections, the Centers For Disease Control maintains that there is minimal risk of pets contracting COVID-19.
Doctors have confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses in “a few” domestic cats and dogs worldwide. Five tigers and three lions at the Bronx Zoo also tested positive for the virus. These are very small numbers when compared to confirmed human cases. Based on continuing research and diagnoses, the CDC has reached these conclusions about the potential for pets contracting COVID-19.
- Pets have contracted the virus from humans.
- The risk is low for humans contracting the virus from their pets.
- Cats and ferrets are more likely to contract COVID-19 than dogs.
Researchers are still learning about pets contracting COVID-19
The pandemic seems to have dragged on for a long time. In reality, the disease began its rapid spread in the U.S. only a few months ago. Because of the continuing spread, health officials and researchers worldwide are rushing to find answers to human and animal COVID-19 complications.
They don’t have all the answers, but at present, available data confirms that the risk of pets contracting COVID-19 from humans is very low. Despite this assessment, a company named IDEXX has developed Idexx SARS-CoV-2 Real PCR, a COVID-19 test for animals. The manufacturer only recommends it for rare circumstances.
Pet COVID-19 Symptoms
As there aren’t very many documented instances of pets contracting COVID-19, researchers only have access to limited information about pet symptoms. Based on news reports about a Belgian cat, a german shepherd in New York, two cats in New York State, and a few other confirmed pet cases, infected animals suffer from symptoms similar to those in humans. These include breathing difficulties, vomiting, lack of appetite, and other symptoms. At least one dog diagnosed with the virus had no symptoms at all.
What should you do to minimize the risks of your pets contracting COVID-19
If you have a pet in your household, health officials recommend that you exercise the same safety precautions as you do with friends, family, and strangers.
- If you have the virus, avoid contact with your pet. If you can’t avoid contact, wear a cloth mask, and wash your hands before any interaction.
- If you can, relocate your pet temporarily until you recover.
- Keep your cat indoors, if possible.
- When you walk your dog, keep him socially distant from other people and animals.
- Don’t take your pet to dog parks or other crowded venues.
- Contact your veterinarian if your pet gets sick.
Veterinary Hospital Near Columbia CT
Give us a call at (860) 228-4324 if you have questions about pets contracting COVID-19 or if you’d like to schedule an appointment.