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FAQ About Pets and Coronavirus

May 1, 2020

FAQ About Pets and Coronavirus

One thing that we’ve all had to adjust to during the COVID-19 pandemic is how quickly the virus is spreading and how much it has changed our lives. News about it is everywhere, but often leads to more questions than answers. Many people are still unsure about what this pandemic means for pets. Here, a local veterinarian answers some common questions from pet owners.

Does Coronavirus Affect Animals?

The word “coronavirus” is actually an umbrella term that includes several different viruses. Some infect animals, such as livestock and bats, but not people. The canine and feline coronaviruses also do not affect people. However, sometimes viruses can move from animals to people. While the origin of COVID-19 is unknown, it may be linked to animals at a live market.

Can Pets Contract COVID-19?

At this time, we do not have any indication that pets contract or spread this disease. The good news? You don’t have to quarantine your pet. (Needless to say, this isn’t a great time to be hosting puppy parties or going to crowded dog parks.) Click here for more information.

Should I Put A Mask On My Pet?

No. This isn’t necessary, and with some pets, such as brachycephalic dogs, it could actually impede their breathing. Plus, these medical supplies are both made for and needed by people right now.

What About That Pomeranian?

One pooch did show a ‘weak positive’ when tested. However, it’s likely that this was due to contact—likely in the form of puppy smooches—with their owner, who was infected. The dog was quarantined, and subsequent tests came back negative.

How Much Pet Food Should I Buy?

At this time, it’s best to have a few weeks’ worth of pet food and, when applicable, bedding, litter, and/or medication, on hand. However, there’s no need to hoard. In fact, that can cause problems, as it could make it harder for others to care for their pets.

Can Pets Carry Coronavirus On Their Bodies?

The answer to this is unclear. We know the virus stays active on some surfaces for up to three days, but how long it can survive on fur is not yet known. However, touching surfaces like doorknobs and countertops is a more likely source of spread than pets’ bodies. To play it safe, wash your hands frequently and disinfect high-touch surfaces.

As your local animal hospital, please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you through this. We’re all in this together!