Update: Can Pets Get The Coronavirus?
This question continues to float around the web, so we thought we'd address it:
Can pets get the Coronavirus?
Among all the negativity surrounding the media about the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), we have uplifting news - scientists can all but confirm your pets are safe from getting COVID-19.
The World Health Organization and many other authority figures state, "At present, there is no evidence that dogs or cats can catch the virus."
That said, if you're sick with the virus (either suspected or confirmed), you should hinder interacting with pets and other animals until we have more information about the COVID-19.
Like anything else, pets can be a vehicle for transmitting the disease to humans. Our furry friends are no different than a doorknob, your cell phone, or the surface of a table. The virus can survive on a pet's nose and face for a length of time.
Walking Pets During The Coronavirus Pandemic
On walks with your pet, we also recommend keeping a safe distance between people and other animals, even if someone does not seem sick. At this point, it's hard to decipher who is well vs. who is unwell. It can take up to 14 days after someone comes into contact with COVID-19 before symptoms begin.
Dog expert Cesar Millan says social distancing may be an advantage for dogs. This is an excellent time to practice communicating with our furry friends. What many people are unaware of, dog socialization is different from human socialization. Dogs have an intimate space, and people tend to ignore that when trying to pet them without first "asking for permission."
During this time, we can start practicing Cesar's "No touch, no talk, no eye contact" rule, which states: If you see a dog walking and want to pet them, talk to the human first, so the animal has a chance to sniff you out. Also, avoid standing too close to the pet. "Try to leave at least four feet between you before getting permission to approach." But, in this case, we would have to minus the contact completely until social isolation is lifted.
How to Keep Your Pet Safe From The Coronavirus Pandemic
The real danger for pets isn't the virus itself. The risk is how prepared a pet owner is in case of an emergency.
It's unknown which states will have to go into complete isolation. In the meantime, we advise you to create an emergency plan for your pet(s).
CDC provided the public with a pet disaster plan kit that is appropriate for the coronavirus pandemic.
Pet Disaster Plan Kit
Be sure to prepare all of your pet's documents.
- Photocopied veterinary records
- Rabies certificate
- Medical summary
- Prescriptions for medications
- Most recent heartworm test result (dogs)
- Most recent FeLV/FIV test result (cats)
- Photocopied registration information (ex: proof of ownership or adoption records)
- Pet description(s) (ex: breed, sex, color, weight)
- Recent photographs of each of your pets
- Waterproof container for documents
- Microchip information (ex: microchip number, name and number of the microchip company)
- Your contact information (phone numbers and addresses for your family and friends or relatives you may be staying with)
Load up on water, food, and medications:
- 2-week supply of food for each animal stored in waterproof containers
- 2-weeks worth of water for each animal
- Non-spill food and water dishes
- Manual can opener
- Feeding instructions for each animal
- 2-week supply of any medications (if applicable)
- Medication instructions (if relevant)
- 1-month supply of flea, tick, and heartworm preventative
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.
How To Stay Healthy Around Animals During Quarantine
Remember, if you believe that you have COVID-19 and need to quarantine, these are measures for you to take, not your pet. Allow your furry friend to continue interacting with the rest of your family; it wouldn't be fair to isolate them completely.
If not sick, it's essential to continue to build you and your pet's immunity by exercise, eating healthy, and rest. Here are tips on how to stay healthy with pets during quarantine:
- Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.
- Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets.
- Let your dog out into an enclosed backyard so that they can relieve themselves and run around.
- If you need to walk your dog outdoors, wear a mask if you're experiencing symptoms
- wipe down your dog's paws and snout with some cruelty-free wipes after walks.
While worrying about our health, we shouldn't neglect our pets. Remember how important it is to continue to take pets to your vet and talk to them if you have questions about your pet's health.
If your vet's office is closed, you should look into telemedicine for pets - where you can virtually see a veterinarian.
Help get your pet's eligible medical expenses paid with Spot Pet Insurance. You can customize your coverage to fit your pet's specific needs. Get a quote in less than 30 seconds.