Can pets get the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Many animal welfare organizations, veterinary practices, and pet guardians are asking this question.
The impacts of the virus seem to grow exponentially every day. And while there is an ongoing story of a dog in Hong Kong who tested positive for the disease, doctors do not believe that the dog is infected.
So what are people who interact with pet dogs and cats to do?
The disease is new. It is likely that information will change as scientists and veterinarians learn more about how the virus behaves. So we turn to experts for guidance on what the novel coronavirus means for you and your pets.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Veterinary Medicine has an online FAQ. It addresses questions such as whether dogs get the novel coronavirus, if veterinarians can test for the COVID-19, and whether there is a vaccine for dogs and cats.
Equally important, it gives guidance on how people diagnosed with the novel coronavirus can protect their pets from transmitting the disease to others.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a list of ‘myth busters’ about COVID-19, including whether pets can transmit the disease. They recommend hand washing with soap and water after any contact with pets.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) answers other questions related to the novel coronavirus and animals. They address questions about animals or animal products imported from China as well as what to do about your pets if you are diagnosed with coronavirus.
Read the CDC’s excellent tips on when and how to wash your hands.
The Pet Poison Helpline notes that there is no evidence that pets can acquire or transmit COVID-19. It recommends checking the CDC and WHO websites for the most updated information.
Further, Best Friends shares these excellent COVID-19 resources for animal shelters and rescue groups.