Can I get coronavirus from my dog or cat?

Who Can Get Coronavirus?

The COVID-19 pandemic is top of mind for most people and the recent case of a tiger at the Bronx Zoo testing positive for the disease has people asking, “Can I get coronavirus from my dog or cat?”

It’s understandable to be concerned. However, the answer, according to the World Health Organization, is no—COVID-19 does not seem to transmit from pet to human. However, there are indications, like the Bronx Zoo situation, that the disease may be passed from humans to their pets. It should be noted, according to the CDC, there are no reported cases of pets becoming infected with COVID-19 in the United States.

Unfortunately, the fear of contracting COVID-19 has led to some people abandoning their animals or surrendering them to shelters. This is not necessary and puts a terrible strain on the already burdened shelter and rescue system.

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

COVID-19 is spread through droplets resulting from coughing or sneezing. People can catch coronavirus from touching surfaces that are contaminated, and then touching their face. Alternatively, breathing the air in which someone has coughed or sneezed can also spread COVID-19. As a result of how the virus spreads, the CDC recently recommended people wear masks in addition to social distancing. Masks will help when people are out in public, or cannot safely distance themselves from other people

There isn’t evidence of dogs being infected from a human, but cats, such as the tigers, might be susceptible. The evidence indicates that pets are at low risk for catching the virus from you. However, if you are sick, it’s best to let someone else feed and water your pets. In addition to this, and as tempting as it is, avoid snuggles until you are well

Can I give COVID-19 to my pet?

Pets don’t need to wear masks, but there are other ways you can help keep them safe. You can protect your pet from coronavirus by washing your hands before touching your pet and their food. As a rule, always wash your hands after handling your pet or picking up pet waste as well. Good handwashing practices will help prevent the spread of the virus in general. In addition, when you walk your pet, it is advised to wipe off their paws afterward before they come into the house.

How will I know if my pet is sick?

There are no routine tests for pets and COVID-19 currently being conducted in the United States. If your pet is sick, it is most likely that they have a more common illness. Regardless, if your pet is sick, you should contact your veterinarian who may provide treatment through telehealth technology.

At Cimarron Animal Hospital, we are scheduling appointments only for sick and injured animals right now. Our process includes contacting our office and waiting in your car until a staff member can come to get you. We are asking that one person per family come in with the pet to help limit exposure for our clients and our staff.

COVID-19 has changed the world in significant ways, but as of now, the question of “can I get coronavirus from my dog or cat?” is no. If you have questions about coronavirus and pets, go to the CDC's website for accurate, up-to-date information.

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