Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been rising concerns over whether household pets can get infected and/or spread the virus to humans. Let’s explore some research and findings straight from the CDC to stay informed on what can help keep you and your pet safe.
According to the CDC, we are still learning about the virus that causes COVID-19, but we do know that it is transmissible from people to cats and dogs in some situations, especially during close contact with a person with COVID-19. While the risk of pets spreading COVID-19 to humans is low, you can try to protect pets from the virus by adhering to a few guidelines such as:
- Try to isolate your pet from people that have COVID-19- including yourself if you become infected.
- Have another household member care for your pets while you are sick.
- If you must care for your pet while you are sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after interacting with them.
- Make sure eligible human household members are vaccinated.
- If possible, try not to allow pets to have contact with unvaccinated people outside the household.
There are also things that humans do to keep safe that aren’t appropriate for pets. For example:
- Do not put masks on your pets as they can be harmful.
- Do not bathe or wipe your pet with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or chemical disinfectants.
- Talk with your veterinarian if you have questions about products for bathing or cleaning your pet.
If you think your pet is sick with the virus, talk with your veterinarian. If you have COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know you have COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations, or other plans for seeing sick pets.
If your pet tests positive, depending on the symptoms, your veterinarian may recommend that your pet be isolated at home, instead of staying in the hospital. If your veterinarian recommends home isolation and you are able to care for your pet, here are some tips from the CDC:
- Keep your pet at home, except to get medical care: Talk with your veterinarian regularly and call before you take your pet to the veterinary clinic. If your pet has trouble breathing or if you think it’s an emergency, alert your veterinarian.
- Separate your pet from people and other pets in your home: If possible, have the pet stay in a designated “sick room.” Be sure to provide bedding, bowls/containers, toys, and treats that are separate from those used by other animals in the household.
- Monitor your pet’s symptoms: Pets sick with the virus that causes COVID-19 may have diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, sneezing, runny nose, lethargy (lazy/sluggish), and eye discharge. Follow all care instructions from your veterinarian.
If you aren’t feeling well remember your local Health Choice is always happy to help! Our urgent care centers are open every day of the week 8:00 am to 8:00 pm- No appointment necessary! From 8am to 6pm we offer Rapid Antigen and send-out PCR COVID-19 testing, as well as COVID-19 antibody testing. To be seen by a provider, simply walk in, or save your spot online for visits between 8am and 6pm by clicking here! For information on E-registration to save time click here. Telemedicine options are available here. We look forward to helping you Get Better. Faster!