Protecting Your Pets During Covid-19
Covid-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. At this time there is no direct evidence that the virus can spread from animals to humans. However, there have been cases of cats, dogs and other types of animals that got infected after close contact with a person who was sick with Covid-19. Thankfully, the animals who got infected, showed little to no symptoms and fully recovered.
Here are some precautions and tips to help you and your family stay healthy, while also protecting your pets health during Covid-19.
If You Own Pets
Until we know how Covid-19 affects animals, you should treat them as you would any other family members to protect their health. Since there is a small risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals, the CDC recommends the following:
- Limit their pet’s interaction with people outside their household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.
- Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others.
- Avoid public places where a large number of people gather.
- Do not put face coverings on pets. Covering a pet’s face could harm them.
- Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use.
- Talk to your veterinarian if your pet gets sick or if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.
How To Care Pets If You Are Sick
If you or someone in your household shows symptoms or has a confirmed case of Covid-19, you should isolate and avoid contact with people and any pets.
- Avoid any contact with your animals such as petting, being licked, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed, etc.
- Ask non-sick family member, neighbor or family friend, to care for your pets.
- If you are unable to find someone to care for your pets, wear a face mask at all times, wash your hands before and after handing their food and water, and continue to limit any one-on-one time with them.
If you suspect your pet has become sick, do not take them to the veterinary clinic. Instead, call or text your vet and let them know of the suspected illness. Most veterinary offices are able to evaluate by phone or video chat, and will figure out the next steps to get them correct care and treatment.
Risk of Animals Spreading Covid-19 to Humans
According to the CDC, some coronaviruses that infect animals can be spread to humans and then spread between people, but this is rare. This is what happened with the virus that caused the current outbreak of COVID-19, with the virus likely originating in bats. The first reported infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person to person.
The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, and talking. Recent studies show that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. More studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.
Risk of Humans Spreading Covid-19 to Animals
Since little is known about the virus, in some situations it has spread from humans to animals. Particularly after an animals has come in close contact with anyone who is sick with Covid-19.
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