Coronavirus in Dogs & Cats Remains Extremely Uncommon
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, people have been wondering if cats and dogs can get coronavirus, and whether coronavirus in cats and dogs can spread to humans. The fact is that there have been just a handful of cases of dogs or cats who have contracted the disease. Worldwide, there have been only 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in dogs or cats and there is no evidence that dogs or cats can spread the novel coronavirus to humans.
The three most recent cases of COVID-19 infection in dogs and cats were in the U.S. This week, a dog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina contracted the coronavirus from his guardians who had previously tested positive. Two other recent cases are both from New York State. In the first incident, a cat's guardian had tested positive for COVID-19 and accidentally spread the virus to their cat. In the second incident, a cat tested positive, but no one in the household had contracted the virus. Health officials are working to figure out where the cat contracted the virus.
There's no need for panic.
There is no evidence that humans can contract the disease from dogs or cats.
However, you should take precautions to keep your animals safe to stop your cats and dogs from getting coronavirus.
Below is a list of things you can do to keep your animals safe in these strange and sometimes scary times.
What You Can Do:
1) Animal companions should practice social distancing
Keep your animals indoors. Animals should be following the same protocols from health officials that humans are and should be spending as much time as possible indoors. This is especially true for cats, who tend to roam when outside. Right now, your animal companions should not be allowed to interact with people or animals outside of your home.
2) Distance yourself from your animal companions if you fall ill
If you have symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should interact with your animal companions as little as possible. Have a family member take over the care of your animal companion in order to limit contact. If you don't have someone who can care for your animal, make sure you wear a protective face mask and wash your hands before and after interacting with your animal companions.
3) Prepare an animal emergency kit
Put together an animal emergency kit with at least a two week supply of your animal companion's food and medications in case of quarantine or self-isolation when you cannot leave your home.
4) Share this message to help prevent animal abandonment
Knowledge is power. Please do your part: share this message using the buttons on this page to spread the word and help prevent animal abandonment!
For more information on COVID-19 and animal companions, the Centers for Disease Control has a great factsheet with suggestions on keeping your animals safe.
Please also read our 10 Tips: How to Help Your Animal Companions and Others During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Stay safe and keep your animal companions safe, too.