Featured News 2020 Can I Get COVID-19 From a Pet?

Can I Get COVID-19 From a Pet?

Coronvirus, Corona Virus Disease, COVID-19—whatever you call it, it’s completely changed the way we live and interact with other people. Experts and officials believe that the newest strain of the coronavirus family (a family which includes SARS, MERS, and the common cold) is linked to a live animal market in China, where a bat was the most likely “reservoir host.”

As of this writing, the WHO believes that COVID-19 was created naturally in an animal environment, not in a lab. The disease breached the species barrier between the host animal and the first human infected, and it has spread from person to person ever since.

Because the first case was spread from an animal to a human, that begs the question: can you get coronavirus from a pet?

Can My Pet Even Catch Coronavirus?

There have been a few rare cases of animals catching COVID-19, both in the United States and worldwide. A tiger in a New York City zoo tested positive for COVID-19 after contracting a respiratory illness. Two dogs in Hong Kong tested positive for the illness, although they did not have symptoms. Experts want dog owners to know, however, that it’s highly unlikely that your dog has the virus. If your dog is usually at home, doesn’t come into contact with other dogs or people, and no one in your home has COVID-19, it’s highly unlikely that they would have it.

One study suggests that cats might be able to catch coronavirus and spread it to other cats. However, you should continue caring for and interacting with your cat, as there is no evidence that cats can give COVID-19 to humans.

The CDC Guidelines for Pets During the COVID-19 Crisis

The CDC is continuing to note their findings and make them public, and they recognize that this is a “rapidly evolving” situation. That said, they want it to be known that spread of coronavirus from animals to humans is extremely rare. It’s also unlikely that, if you pet catches it, that they will fall ill.

On their site, the CDC says:

“Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.”

All of this information is constantly updating, but practice caution, stay at home whenever possible, stay six feet away from other people in public, and practice social distancing however you can. It is far more likely that you’ll catch COVID-19 from a neighbor or from social gatherings than you would from your pet, who has contact with you and only you.

If you’re looking for answers about your specific pet’s health, consult our veterinarian directory to find a local vet near you!

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