What You Need to Know about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Your Pets
With its 15 Days to Slow the Spread guidelines, the White House has implored all United States citizens to take precautions and follow recommendations to stop the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our country. As our Wisconsin communities practice social distancing and as potentially exposed individuals go into self-quarantine, pet owners everywhere are wondering how/whether COVID-19 can affect dogs and cats (other than leading to unprecedented levels of daytime belly scratches, snuggles, and purring).
What We Currently Understand about Pets and COVID-19 So Far
At this point, we really don’t know much about if or how Coronavirus can affect cats and dogs. Two dogs that were exposed to the virus in China are in quarantine and have been tested. While signs of the virus were found in the nasal swab of one dog, no sign of the virus was detected in the other.
Can Cats and Dogs Transmit or Contract Novel Coronavirus?
So far, there’s no definitive evidence showing that dogs or cats can either contract or transmit COVID-19, but much more research is needed to actually answer these questions.
How to Protect Your Pets from COVID-19
Until we know more, the AVMA recommends taking precautions with your pets. Restrict their interaction with animals and people from other households — just like you’re limiting your own interactions. You should also have a plan in place for protecting your pet should you fall ill yourself. Make arrangements with a friend or family member who can care for your pets in the event you contract COVID-19. Animals and humans can transmit and contract certain viruses to each other, so you should always use proper hygiene with your pets. Always wash your hands before and after playtime.
Canine Coronavirus (CCoV) and Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) Are Not the Same as Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Dogs and cats have their own species-specific Coronaviruses that affect only them. These viruses are not the same as COVID-19, and they cannot be transmitted to humans.
Should You Reschedule Your Pet's Appointment? Safety Concerns During the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic
At each Animal Wellness Center location, our staff is taking extra precautions to protect our clients and our staff during these uncertain times. We’ve ramped up sanitization efforts in all the high-traffic, high-touch locations within our clinics. That being said, the federal government has recommended that people stay home as much as possible, and deciding whether you should venture out is a decision to make while considering yourself, your family, and your pets. We welcome our clients to reschedule their pets’ appointments or to contact us for more information about visiting one of the Animal Wellness Center locations at this time.