How Does Coronavirus COVID-19 Affect Your Pet?

Dog in mask
Dog in mask

As coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2) continues to spread around the world and affect more and more people, you might be wondering how it can -- or cannot -- affect your pet. The Doctors have the answers to all your pet-related coronavirus questions.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, at this time, there are no reports of pets or animals becoming sick with coronavirus or spreading the virus.

The CDC states, "While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person in China. There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. The WHO adds, "There is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19."

Can Humans Become Infected with the Coronavirus from an Animal Source?

"Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals. Occasionally, people get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people. For example, SARS-CoV was associated with civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels. Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed," the WHO warns, adding, "To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Ensure good food safety practices at all times. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products."

READ: Infectious Disease Expert's Coronavirus Warnings and a Sliver of Hope

Should Somone Avoid Contact with Pets or Animals If You Are Sick with Coronavirus?

The CDC warns, "You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask."

Should You Be Concerned about Imported Pets from China?

"Animals imported from China will need to meet CDC and USDA requirements for entering the United States. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported from China should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently in China," according to the CDC.

READ: Coronavirus COVID-19: How to Prepare and What To Stock Up On

Stay informed on the latest information on the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and learn about prevention methods and what to do if you are infected.

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