As we wait for new research on the virus, should you worry about your pet getting coronavirus? COVID 19 has changed our lives and puzzled doctors around the world. Here is what we know about pets and the corona virus.
Can SARS-CoV-2 infect pets?
You may be wondering, can my dog get Coronavirus? Although SARS-CoV-2 (this is the scientific name of COVID19) most likely originated from an animal, at this moment, the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic is sustained exclusively by the direct transmission of the virus between humans. You can catch this virus through contact with contaminated objects without the active involvement of animals. However, the situation is rapidly evolving, and epidemiological and virological studies are progressing rapidly. Therefore, it is recommendable to constantly check every scientific update.
Is it better to avoid contact with pets in case of SARS-CoV-2 infection?
Although it is still unclear whether our animals can get COVID19, in the event of infection, it is best to limit contacts to the bare minimum, just like anyone should do to protect other members of their family. This is also advisable to do in case of any disease. Here’s why: your pet can become a vehicle for the virus. If the infected person touches your pet, your pet may pass the virus on to anyone who caresses it. Petting the dog could leave the virus on the fur. Therefore, it is always advisable to maintain a high level of hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after touching your pet.
What should I do if an animal in close contact with a patient infected with COVID19 gets sick?
If you have SARS-CoV-2, it is good to notify the veterinary doctor treating your animal by telephone, reporting the exposure to the infection. The veterinary will guide you through the right steps to do. The pandemic has lasted for several months, and SARS-CoV-2 has not yet infected any animals or pets.
Does it make sense to request a feline or canine coronavirus test to evaluate whether your animals or pets are healthy?
No, because the coronaviruses that infect animals are very different from SARS-CoV-2. There are many coronaviruses capable of infecting humans and pets, which have nothing to do with the COVID19 epidemic. Since the test carried out on dogs and cats is specific for feline or canine coronaviruses, the result of the test would not give any information regarding the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
I am sick/in-home quarantine for COVID19, do I have to worry about my pets?
There have been no reports of dogs, cats, or other animals who have fallen ill with COVID19. Currently, there is no evidence that they have a significant epidemiological role in this human disease. However, as a precaution, it is recommended that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 limit contact with their pets.
When taking care of animals, it is generally good to observe basic hygiene measures. This includes washing hands before and after touching animals and their food. Also, avoid kissing, getting licked, or sharing food with them.
Whenever possible, people who are sick or undergoing medical treatment for COVID19 should avoid close contact with their pets, of whatever species they have, and entrust the care to another family member.