Pet Safety During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is all over the news, and you’ve probably already read all our safety tips and guidelines.
Now it’s time to talk about the furry members of our family. We’ve received many questions regarding the safety of your pets and having them around your family. “What about Fido?” Let’s learn about pet safety during COVID-19.
Here we hope to clarify as much as possible all your questions. The information used to answer the following questions comes from the US Department of Agriculture. We recommend you visit their website for more details https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus.
Can I get COVID-19 from my pet or other animals?
One of the first questions of concern about pet safety during COVID-19, was pet to human contamination. From what we know so far, there is little chance that your pet or farm animal can spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
There have been a few reports of pets and zoo animals testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, in all cases, the animals had close contact with a person who was already sick with COVID-19.
To avoid your pets getting infected with the virus, the authorities recommend you follow these guidelines:
- Limit the interaction your pets have with people or other animals outside of your home
- Walk your dog with a leash and maintain a distance of at least 6-feet between them and other people or animals
- Avoid going to the dog park and other public places where many people and dogs gather
- Keep your cat indoors as much as possible
How Can I Get Tested for the Coronavirus?
If I get sick with COVID-19, could I infect my pet with the virus?
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the virus, but there is evidence that sick humans could infect their pets and other animals.
For now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone who is sick with COVID-19 avoid or limit their contact with animals until more is known.
If you are sick, you ask a healthy family member or friend to take care of your pets until you are healthy again.
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Can pets carry the virus that causes COVID-19 on their skin or fur?
We know pets can carry certain bacteria and fungi on their fur and hair. However, there is no evidence that viruses, including the one that causes COVID-19, can spread to people from the skin, coat, or hair of pets.
Since we do know pets can carry germs that can be harmful to our health, it’s always good to wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
Which animals can get COVID-19?
The first confirmed case of an animal infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the United States was a tiger living in a New York zoo.
We also know of a few cases where dogs and cats have tested positive after having close contact with a person sick with COVID-19.
Researchers have concluded that ferrets, cats, and golden Syrian hamsters can get infected with the virus and spread it to other animals from the same species.
The same study found that pigs, chickens, and ducks did not become infected or spread the infection to other animals.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we know how important pets can be to our families. While we can’t treat them in our ER’s we encourage you to take all the necessary precautions to help keep them safe.
If your pet shows any signs of respiratory problems, or if you suspect they have the virus that causes COVID-19, speak to your veterinary immediately.