If you’re one of many, you probably cherish your furry friends more than ever. During times of isolation, pets provide much-needed companionship.
However, if you go out in public, you might worry about the health risks to your four-legged pal. How safe is it to let the well-meaning neighbor pet your pooch on your morning walk? Do you need to launder your clothes before you allow your kitty to curl up on your lap? Here’s what we know on pets and COVID-19 to date.
You Probably Won’t Need to Worry About Catching COVID-19 From Animals
As of the present time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a low risk of animals spreading the virus to humans. If you run an elevated risk of complications if infected, you may wish to keep your pets away from others, but you shouldn’t worry about taking care of them.
Can Cats Get COVID?
Unfortunately, a few early studies show that cats are the animals most likely to catch the new coronavirus. However, that doesn’t mean that Fluffy will need you to rush her to the vet at 3 a.m.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medicine administered SARS-CoV-2 that they isolated from a human patient to three cats. Within three days, they detected the virus in all animals. The scientists then introduced the infected felines to three other kitties. Within six days, all six shed the virus.
Therefore, it’s logical to assume that your feline might pick up the novel coronavirus from you if you bring it in from outdoors. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean your pal will become sick. One of the cats showed symptoms in the study, and all six cleared the virus with no adverse effects.
Large members of the cat kingdom are not immune to the novel coronavirus, either. Recently, Nadia, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo, tested positive. Three other tigers and the same number of lions likewise exhibited symptoms. Experts anticipate that all will make a complete recovery.
Is It Safe to Pet Your Neighbor’s Pooch?
You adore your neighbor’s Shih-Tzu, but is it safe to pat them on the head? Like cats, canines have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Two pet dogs in Hong Kong both tested positive. Both of them lived in homes with owners who had COVID-19 — it’s reasonable to assume your pup can likewise catch it from you.
However, chance encounters are unlikely to result in a significant rate increase. While Hong Kong health officials continue to test dogs and their owners, infection occurs infrequently. Out of 17 households with close contact between dogs and positive individuals, only two pooches went on to likewise get a plus sign on their tests.
Like cats, dogs are unlikely to become severely sick if infected. One pup, Winston the Pug, fell ill for a few days after testing positive. However, according to his owners, he is doing better now.
It’s vital to note that in Winston’s case, he licked off his owner’s plate, who had tested positive. Therefore, you’re probably safe to pat Fido on the head but stay away from canine kisses. Keep in mind that you should always wash your hands after playing with any variety of pets. Even if your risk of catching COVID-19 remains low, they can carry other germs in their fur.
What About Other Animals?
Researchers still do not entirely understand how COVID-19 impacts other animals. However, some studies show that ferrets and golden Syrian hamsters can transmit the virus to other animals of the same species in the laboratory.
You shouldn’t have to worry about your backyard porker or poultry, though. According to the FDA, pigs, chickens and ducks do not contract the virus or spread it to others.
Educate Yourself About What You Should Know About Pets and COVID-19
If you are a pet parent, keep yourself and your beloved pet safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Knowing the facts can help you make educated decisions.
About The Author
Dylan Bartlett writes about a variety of topics on his site, Just a Regular Guide. Check it out for more info on home improvement, DIY projects and remodeling apps. Follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates!