This is an evolving situation, and as you can imagine, there is no complete certainty at this time with respect to how this new virus behaves. However, here is what is known today about the virus and pets. City Pets will continue to update this section as new information is learned.
- The U.S. Center for Disease Control says: “At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19.”
- Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick as a result of COVID-19, little is yet known about their susceptibility to the virus.
- It is true that a pet dog in Hong Kong has tested “weak positive” for the presence of the virus, but Hong Kong health officials are not certain if the dog’s positive result – found in its nasal cavity – came from “environmental contamination”, that is, from putting its nose into direct contact with the virus itself, which is different than being “infected” by the virus. Apparently, the dog is not “sick,” that is, it is not showing any signs of illness, which does support this theory of the dog having touched the virus but not being infected by it. The dog is in quarantine and is being watched.
- Given the current state of information, the recommendations are:
- If you or someone is sick with or under medical attention for COVID-19, then limit that sick person’s contact with animals (just like with people, of course) until more information is known about the virus. In this circumstance, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. Better is to have someone else care for the pets in a different location while one is sick with COVID-19.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick with or under medical attention for COVID-19, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.
- The CDC’s website regarding animals and COVID-19 can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#animals.