Can your pet get COVID-19?


DENVER (KDVR) —  Individuals have been asking many questions about the outbreak as the virus continues to spread; that includes questions about their pets.

According to the World health organization for Animal Health, “Current evidence suggests that the COVID-19 virus has an animal source” but the organization adds, “to date, there is not enough scientific evidence to identify that source or to explain the route of transmission from animal source to humans.”

Denver Veterinarian, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald from Alameda East Veterinarian Hospital says while there are reports in China of a dog having COVID19, “testing positive for exposure is different than actually having the disease”.   

Dr. Fitzgerald says, “it could be there are “fomites”, viral particles from the infected human picked up by the dog after the man sneezes or coughs”.   

Dr. Fitzgerald gave us this advice when it comes to COVID-19 and your animals:

  • Normal precautions should be followed with interacting with animals, washing the hands, sanitizer, etc.
  • Make sure to have enough pet food on hand in case we have to “shelter in place” or the  quarantine becomes more stringent.
  • Make sure your animal is up to date on vaccines in the unfortunate instance that you have to be hospitalized and the animal boarded.
  • Make sure that if your animal is on medication that you have enough on hand.
  • Only take your pet to the vet if it is urgent to cut down on all exposure.
  • Ask your vet if you can do a drive up visit if necessary or if you can do a call or facetime call for issues you are concerned about.

For more information on animals and coronavirus you can visit the Center For Disease Control’s website.

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