Pet owners are becoming increasingly concerned over the risk of their pets catching COVID-19. Many are wondering how they can curb the transmission of the virus and stay safe during these uncertain times.
Here are some FAQs on COVID-19 and animals, and best practices you can adopt to protect you and your furkid from getting infected.
- Can pets get COVID-19?
- Can I get COVID-19 from my pet?
- Can COVID-19 live on my pet’s fur?
- Should I get my pet tested for COVID-19?
- How to protect your pet from COVID-19
Can Pets Get COVID-19?
There have been several reports of animals contracting COVID-19. At the moment, several animals have tested positive for the virus in Hong Kong. Additionally, the first confirmed case in pets in the United States was also documented in April 2020.
Despite the reports, you don’t have to worry as these cases are few and far between. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the chances of your furkid catching the virus is relatively low.
Can I Get COVID-19 From My Pet?
There’s no definitive answer at the moment. However, the World Health Organisation has mentioned that there’s no evidence indicating that animals can spread the disease to humans. They have also stated that human-to-human transmission remains the primary driver of the virus.
Therefore, based on the current information available, there’s little risk of getting the virus from your pet.
Can COVID-19 Live on My Pet’s Fur?
Studies have shown that the virus can survive on a variety of surfaces. Fortunately for paw parents, it’s unlikely that it can live on your pet’s fur.
An email statement by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) wrote that COVID-19 transfers better on smooth and non-porous surfaces. Thus, it’s not likely that the virus can stay on your pet’s fur because it’s porous and fibrous.
Should I Get My Pet Tested for COVID-19?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t recommend the routine testing of pets for COVID-19.
If there are changes to your pet’s health, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
How to Protect Your Pet from COVID-19
Adopt Good Hygiene Practices
Pet owners are recommended to adopt good hygiene practices and maintain a clean household environment.
Some good hygiene practices you can adopt include
- washing hands before and after interacting with your furkid,
- wearing disposable gloves when handling your pet’s waste,
- washing your pet’s bedding and toys regularly, and
- cleaning its water and food bowl every day between meals.
Restrict Contact with Animals If You Are Unwell
While the risk of spreading the virus to your pet is low, the World Organisation for Animal Health has cautioned that animals and people can share diseases.
As such, it’s best to isolate yourself and avoid contact with your furkid if you’re feeling sick to restrict the transmission of the virus.
Limit Your Pet’s Contact with Other Animals and People
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US strongly advises that you limit your pet’s interaction with people outside your household.
You also need to ensure that your pet practises social distancing; keep him at least 1m apart from other animals and avoid common play areas like dog parks.
Schedule Regular Visits to the Vet
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) recommends bringing your pet for regular visits to the vet.
This ensures that your pet is healthy and can also be used to verify that his vaccinations are up to date.
Keeping Your Pet Safe
COVID-19 is a new virus, and little is known about it.
To keep you and your pet safe, ensure that you practise good hygiene and adhere to social distancing measures when you’re outdoors.
The information from the article was retrieved from Pet’s Magazine and adapted by Pet Lovers Centre’s writing team.