COVID and Your Pet
By, Dr. A. Damant, B. Sc (Hons), D. V. M.
Coronaviruses are viruses that typically cause respiratory and gastrointestinal disease in humans and animals. Five coronaviruses are known to circulate in humans: four that cause the common cold, the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1), emerged in 2002 from China and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), emerged in China, in late 2019.
SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted person-to-person via droplets generated from talking, coughing, and sneezing that fall off after approximately six feet and can also be transmitted via fomites (ie, contaminated surfaces and objects). SARS-CoV-2 can survive on some surfaces to a limited extent.
There is no evidence that animals, including our pets, can serve as a source for human infection. Although dogs and cats have tested positive, there is no evidence that they get sick from COVID. While skin and fur of our pets can pass some parasites and microorganisms to people, there is no evidence that they can serve as fomites for SARS-CoV-2.There is also no evidence that inanimate objects associated with pets such as collars, leashes, food or water dishes, can be fomites for SARS-CoV-2.
To reduce the chances that a pet could become a fomite, the following is recommended:
If a pet owner is ill with COVID-19, they should maintain separation from a pet, just as would be done for another member of the household. If possible, someone else may take care of the pet.
If a pet owner must care for a pet while ill, a face mask should be worn around the pet; hands should be washed before and after contact with the pet; hugging, kissing, and sleeping with the pet should be avoided.
Good hygiene should be practiced, with hand washing before and after contact and feeding. Food and water dishes, toys, and bedding should also be washed regularly.
All coronaviruses are enveloped and therefore readily killed by many biocidal agents, as well as washing with soap and water.
For more information about COVID and your pet, contact your local veterinarian.
Jan 14 2021
CoVID and Your Pet
COVID and Your Pet