Can Dogs Get COVID-19?

Can Dogs Get COVID-19?

For good reason, it seems everyone is talking about coronavirus or COVID-19. The uncertainty about the potentially life-threatening virus is creating a lot of anxiety about our health and the health of those we love, and this includes our pets. The deep bonds we form with our four-legged companions are life changing, and when our fur babies are healthy, we are happy. 

The good news is that although further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that they have not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the U.S. They do caution that they are aware of a very small number of pets outside of the U.S. reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with the virus. They add that to-date, there is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals or people.

Coronaviruses that infect animals can sometimes be spread to people, but it is rare. The diseases that can be contracted from your pet, are known as zoonotic diseases and may be transmitted to people through infected saliva, aerosols, contaminated urine or feces or direct contact with the dog.

Because all animals can carry germs that can make us sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits. This includes washing our hands after handling them, their food, waste, or supplies. Of course, you should always speak with your veterinarian if you have concerns about your pet’s health.

To help ensure both you and your furry friend stay healthy, if you are sick or suspect that you could be, restrict contact with him, just like you would around other people. It is recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit contact until more is known about the virus. If it is possible, have another member of your household care for your pet while you are sick. As difficult as it might be, protect your furry baby by avoiding petting him, snuggling, being kissed or licked, or sharing food.

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