We do know that COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a newly recognized member of the coronavius family that appears to primarily infect humans.
Other coronaviruses are responsible for things like colds in humans. However, each member of a viral family is different from each other.
This particular coronavirus is spreading rapidly because humans don’t yet have immunity built up in our populations. This is why practicing social distancing, disinfecting surfaces, and washing your hands are important to slow the spread of the virus throughout our community.
Can I get SARS-CoV-2 from my dog or cat?
As of now, there’s little indication that dogs or cats are likely to carry or transmit the virus to humans; however, there is the rare chance this can happen. The biggest concern right now is pets acting as fomites — a virus-contaminated surface.
So, for now, avoid snuggling your pets with your face and as always, wash your hands after handling or picking up after your pet.
Can my dog or cat get SARS-CoV-2 from a person?
Possibly. According to the CDC, “there has been at least one case where a dog tested positive for the virus after being exposed to an infected human. However, human-to-pet transmission seems to be quite rare.”
My pet has an appointment, but I’m not feeling well.
If you or anyone in your household is running a fever or showing other signs of illness, please stay home and take care of yourself. We’d be happy to reschedule your appointment.
If I’m sick, how should I care for my pets?
The CDC recommends tat if possible, “have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask.”
Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?
According to the CDC, “you should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets and other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is know about the virus.” Additionally, any pet you interact with could act as a fomite (a virus-contaminated surface) and carry the virus to other locations or humans.
As with so many things in life, exercising common sense and some extra care, staying home, plus lots of hand washing and sanitizing, will benefit us all.
Please let us know if you have COVID-19 questions or concerns specific to your pet.
Your friends at Allandale Veterinary Clinic