I know, I know. This virus has had its grips on society for over a year now, and quite frankly, I think I speak for a majority when I say we are sick of hearing about it. Not because we are negligent or don’t care about the health of the greater good, but it engulfs every news cycle, every day. It’s hard to escape, literally and figuratively.
As we all breathe a sigh of relief as vaccinations continue and the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter, we thought it’d be helpful to review any new information regarding the risks our pets are at, if any, when it comes to the coronavirus. With such a new disease, that no one has any prior experience with, information is constantly being uncovered and relayed. So, hopefully for the last time, we will give a brief overview on the information available regarding dogs, cats, and COVID-19.
What We Know
It has been found in some cases, COVID-19 has infected dogs and cats. It is believed that these animals contracted the virus after one of their owners or someone close to the family was COVID-19 positive. However, based on the information currently available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to humans is very low. There is no evidence that suggests petting or touching an infected pet’s fur will in turn infect the human that is coming in contact.
And for some comforting news, of the dogs and cats that were infected, the overwhelming majority did not show any symptoms or signs of illness, and zero have died due to the COVID-19 infection.
More studies need to be done regarding animal-to-animal transmission, and which animals are at risk. So far, there have been reports of animals being infected, from house pets like dogs and cats, to wild animals in sanctuaries such as tigers and gorillas. So, it is not entirely known which species are at risk, and just how much risk entails. This information comes with time.
What Do I Do If I’m Infected?
If you test positive for COVID-19, you should apply the same protocol you would with human contact. Isolate yourself from your pets (as gut-wrenching as this may be), until you have completed quarantine and have cleared the virus. Remember, of the dogs and cats that have been infected, all of them were thought to be given the virus by their human counterparts. So, as hard as it may be to stay away from your loving furball, you are doing the right thing and protecting them. If this will throw off your daily routine (it will), it may be helpful to ask an uninfected friend or family member to take your pet on their walks and feed them for the duration of your quarantine.