It seems that every day brings new pieces of information from a wide variety of sources, some more reliable than others. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without having the picture of completed photo on the box. We’re all trying to sort through the pieces to see how the pieces fit together. For pet lovers a very important piece of the COVID 19 puzzle is pets and animals.
The value of our relationship with pets and their importance to us has become even more apparent during this pandemic. As pet parents we are experiencing deeper connections with our pets; their joy and companionship have helped sustain and comfort us. Many people, however, are still questioning if they can catch COVID 19 from their pet. The good news about pets and COVID 19 is that there is still no evidence that companion animals (primarily dogs and cats) can spread the disease to people. The evidence suggests, however, that humans can pass the disease to some animals.
The recommendations from experts regarding pets are: wash your hands before and after handling a pet; do not kiss them or let them lick you. Practice physical distancing when walking your dog – always stay 6 feet away from other people and their pets. Some studies suggest that viral droplets could survive on a pet’s fur for a couple of hours. So it is best to not let other people touch your pet or for you to touch other people’s pets.
You might remember Winston, the pug that was believed to be the first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in the United States. According to new findings from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory it seems unlikely that he was infected with the virus. They think that he picked up the virus from surfaces in his home that were contaminated by family members who tested positive for the virus. https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/usda-nc-pug-never-contracted-covid-19/19118584/
If you’re wondering if you should get your pet tested for COVID 19 check out the information provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19/testing-animals-sars-cov-2
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html
United States Dept of Agriculture: https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus/animals-and-plants#pet-safety