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All You Need To Know About COVID-19 & Animals

Apr 3, 2020 | Cats, Disease and Symptoms, Dogs, Pet Safety

Please Note: There is limited information surrounding COVID-19 & animals. Continue to practice proper hygiene, physical distancing and minimize contact with animals as well as people. We will keep you updated as new information surfaces.

Can animals develop COVID-19?

At this time, although the virus originated in bats, there is limited evidence that animals can be infected with COVID-19. The risk of animals developing COVID-19 and the risk of transmission by an infected animal is believed to be low.

Can animals act as fomites?

Fomites are defined as objects or materials which are likely to carry infectious agents. In this case, an example of a fomite would be an animal’s hair coat. There is a potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 but, it is considered unlikely that a sufficient amount of virus would remain on the hair coat long enough to transmit infection.

What should you do if you are self-isolating and you have pets?

If you or someone else in your household are experiencing signs of COVID-19 or have recently come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should self-isolate for at least 14 days. During this time, you should also minimize contact with your pet, people and other animals. Avoid close contact (snuggling, sharing food, being licked) with your pet and avoid coughing/sneezing near them. Ideally, have another family member care for your pet for the duration of self-isolation. If this is not possible, always wash your hands before and after contact with your pet.

What should you do if your pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian?

If your pet needs veterinary care, please inform the clinic so they can use proper precautions during the appointment or a telemedicine appointment may be performed instead. Other options include having an unaffected friend/family member bring them for you. You may also delay the appointment if it is not urgent.