The World Health Organization declared that the COVID-19 novel coronavirus is now a global pandemic in early March of this year. People are worried not only about their own health but the health of their dogs, cats, and other pets. The virus was originally transmitted from animal to human. It is such a new virus, that not very much information about it is know yet. No one knows for sure if humans can transmit the COVID-19 to their pets or vice versa. What the officials are stating is better to be safe than sorry.
Dogs can contract certain types of coronaviruses, such as the canine respiratory coronavirus, but this specific novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is believed to not be a threat to dogs. Li Lanjuan, an epidemiologist and representative of China’s National Health Commission cautioned pet owners in China to be cautious about their pets’ health as well as their own. The one dog in Hong Kong that tested positive displayed a low-level of infection. It is likely that it was transmitted from human-to-animal. There is no evidence thus far that the virus can be transmitted from animal-to-human. If taking a pet outdoors, keep a safe distance between your pet and other people, including their pets. If your pet comes into contact with someone who is showing signs of illness, you will need to quarantine them for 14 days.
The CDC doesn’t think that there are cases in the US where animals have been infected with the COVID-19. However, we’re not really testing animals here and we are also just at the beginning of this new COVID-19 madness. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.The consensus is that the virus does not survive on their fur but common sense is urged. If touching someone else’s dog, wash your hands properly.
If anyone in your household has been infected by COVID-19 or has been quarantined awaiting results, officials state to avoid direct contact with pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. Service animals should be permitted to remain with their handlers. When possible have someone else care for your animals while you are sick. If the individual in isolation is the only person the care for the pet, then the following precautions should be taken. Restrict contact with the pet just as you would with other people, wear a facemask while interacting with pets, wash hands thoroughly before and after interacting with pets until the individual is medically cleared.