The World Health Organization officially classified the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, a pandemic, and President Donald Trump has recently declared a national emergency. While our nation, individual states and families take extra precautions to protect citizens and loved ones, you might be wondering, “Can my pet get the coronavirus?”
This is an important question in times when we seek to do what is best for our family members and, of course, our furry friends. While research is still generally limited, there are thankfully positive reports regarding the collective safety of our pets.
Can My Pet Get the Coronavirus?
Most experts agree our pets are safe and can neither contract nor transmit COVID-19. Currently, both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there is no evidence to suggest dogs or cats are susceptible to the illness.
However, research is still being conducted on this relatively new virus, and information is subject to change as researchers and doctors learn more. Because of this, it is still encouraged you follow best hand hygiene practices and make smart decisions to protect you and your family.
The coronavirus is easily transmitted through coughing or sneezing, and droplets that land on your pooch or feline friend can infect others.
If Pets Cannot Contract COVID-19, Why Did a Dog in Hong Kong Test Positive?
One canine in Hong Kong tested “weak positive” for COVID-19 and was quarantined. Most veterinary experts argue this most likely happened after an infected owner spread the virus onto their pet’s skin and into oral or nasal passages through direct contact. Just like other surfaces, the coronavirus can live on objects from several hours up to several days.
If you or someone you know is diagnosed with the virus, be vigilant and take necessary precautions to avoid spreading the illness to others and onto your pet.
What Precautions Should I Take Around My Pet If I Test Positive?
If you test positive for COVID-19, continue to follow all guidelines, including self-quarantine in mild cases or hospitalization in more severe cases. Refrain from snuggling, kissing, petting or being kissed by your puppy or kitty. As mentioned above, other people in your family can contract the virus through contact with your pet if you have left any type of droplets on your furry friend.
Always wash your hands before and after touching your four-legged friend and practice social distancing.
Should My Pet or I Wear a Face Mask?
If you are in self-quarantine and are suspected or known to have COVID-19, it is encouraged you wear a face mask to avoid shedding the virus to others. However, if you are not sick, a face mask cannot protect you from contracting the disease, and there is no need to wear one.
Your dog or cat should not wear a face mask as they are not in danger of contracting the coronavirus. Furthermore, a mask can pose breathing difficulties for your feline or canine friend.
If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your pet, it is recommended you contact your healthcare provider and your pet’s veterinarian to address any questions or fears.
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