Does COVID-19 affect cats and dogs?

The coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan has turned into a pandemic. All countries are now affected by COVID-19. Recently, some animals have also tested positive for COVID-19; for example, a tiger examined in Bronx zoo tested positive. This has left pet owners wondering. People all across the globe are asking whether their pets are safe from COVID or not.

When uncertainty is the only certainty, nothing could be said about the situation. Several questions are haunting pet owners due to a lack of guidance. Most people, unaware of this evolving situation. Some people are not taking precautionary measures because they think that animals cannot contract COVID. Hence, uncertainty and negligence are causing COVID to spread exponentially.

Can my cat and dog contract COVID-19?

All species of animals are susceptible to certain types of coronaviruses. Some dogs have canine respiratory coronavirus. Similarly, other animals have other kinds of coronaviruses. Here’s what veterinarian experts have to say about COVID-19 in cats and dogs:

Dogs

Hong Kong has reported two cases of COVID-19 in dogs. The dogs did not show any symptoms of the disease. Both had contracted it from human beings with COVID-19. But according to experts, COVID-19 is not a death threat for dogs. Dogs can easily recover from it. So far, the evidence is not enough to prove that COVID can transfer from humans to dogs or vice versa. Therefore, take all the measures preemptively and keep your dog away from animals and human beings.

Cats

According to veterinarians and scientists, feline fellows can easily contract COVID-19. It has also been studied that cats can transmit coronavirus to other cats. There is no solid proof that cats can transfer COVID-19 to human beings. But it is advised to take precautions. Do not let your cat interact with outsiders and other people. Keep your cat indoors. If you have contracted COVID-19, then try to stay away from your cat or other pets.

Can animals transfer COVID to human beings?

According to research in Hong Kong, experts say that there is no evidence that animals such as cats and dogs transfer COVID-19 to human beings. Most of the animals recover without showing typical COVID-19 symptoms. Therefore, it is better to maintain a safe distance from animals if they look slightly sick.

Can the virus live on the fur?

There is not enough research on COVID-19 to provide a solid answer for this. Researchers are not sure due to the unavailability of fur. But coronavirus can live on some surfaces for up to 72 hours. Therefore, there is a chance that coronaviruses can live on the fur of your pets for hours as well. Hence, it is better to give your pet frequent showers.

How should I treat my pet during this pandemic?

COVID-19 is not an epidemic anymore; it has spread everywhere in the world. Therefore, take precautionary measures despite the number of cases in your area.

“It is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.”, says World Health Organization.

If you have a pet, then these are must-know tips:

  • Cover your face with your arm or tissue while sneezing or coughing.
  • Discard the tissue right after using it.
  • Try to keep a safe distance from your pet if you are sick.
  • Wash your hands before and after interacting with your pet.

What are the steps you should take if you have a pet?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC is aware that COVID-19 has infected several pets outside of the United States. Therefore, protecting your pet from COVID-19 should be a priority. Here are some steps to save your pet:

  • Do not allow your pets to interact with people outside of your home.
  • Keep your pet’s interaction with other animals to a minimum.
  • Keep your cats and dogs indoors.
  • Avoid going to dog parks or any public place for walking your dog.
  • Use a leash for your dog or cat. Try to maintain a distance of 2 feet between you and others.

How should I treat my pet if I have COVID-19?

There is no evidence that people can transfer COVID-19 to pets. Pets can usually contract COVID-19 from other animals such as cats. But it is still better to protect your pet if you have COVID-19. Here are the necessary steps that you should take:

  • Have someone else take care of your pet while you are away.
  • Drop your pet to your friend’s house till you are in quarantine.
  • Avoid petting your pet or playing with it.
  • Avoid contact with the belongings of your pet. For example, stay away from the bedding, food, and toys of your pet.
  • Avoid sharing food with your pet.
  • If you have no one else to take care of your pet, then wash your hands before touching your pet. Always wear a mask near your pet.
  • If your pet gets sick, then do not take it to the veterinarian yourself. Ask your vet to visit you instead.

Conclusion

COVID-19 has left everyone questioning. The situation is changing every day. No one knows what to do. Even the experts are making decisions without any solid reasons. There is little to no research on COVID-19. This is the underlying reason behind uncertainty. Vaccine for humans and pets would not be available for the next 12 months. Therefore, the only way to stay safe is not to get coronavirus. If you have pets in your house, then their protection should be a priority as there is not much research on animals. Veterinarians all around the world are confused because different animals are reacting differently to COVID-19. Just take all precautionary measures specified by the World Health Organization (WHO) or CDC. Go one extra mile for your pets because you and your entire family would be at risk if your pet contracts COVID-19. Thus, precautions and isolation are the only way to keep this virus away from your house.

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