Pets will always hold a very special place in your heart and it’s very natural that you want to keep them safe, healthy, and away from sickness. When it comes to coronavirus and pets, it’s important to understand the facts. You love your pet, but it’s essential to know if they are putting you in danger.
Right now, there is no evidence to suggest that animals have a prominent role in the spread of coronavirus. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have questions or want to understand more about the link between COVID-19 and animals. Let’s take a look at some of the key concepts involving the virus, your pets, and how to protect all members of your household — human or otherwise.
The Risk of Catching Coronavirus From Your Pet
While there are still studies being conducted, the research on the effects of COVID-19 and animals is very limited. However, we do know that the risk of the virus spreading to humans from animals is relatively low.
There are some strains of the coronavirus that can spread from animals to people, although this is rare. It is believed that the current COVID-19 pandemic came from bats after an outbreak was linked to an animal market, but it has since spread from human to human as a result of coughing, sneezing, or even talking. Although, because you want to stay as safe as possible, it has been advised that you should still wash your hands after touching your pet or their food for good measure.
The Possibility of Passing COVID-19 Onto Your Pet
Now that we know the risk of catching coronavirus from your pet is relatively low, it’s a good idea to understand if you can pass it on to them.
It has been reported that a number of dogs and cats have been infected after coming into contact with humans that have coronavirus. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that those sick with COVID-19 limit contact with pets and animals. If possible, ask loved ones to help with caring for your pet while you are sick. It will also help to wear a mask when having contact with your pet, to limit any risk in case you are a carrier with no symptoms.
If you suspect that your pet may have contracted the coronavirus, it’s important to reach out to your veterinarian for advice.
How To Keep Your Household Safe
The risk may be low, but it’s still important to take the proper measures to keep all animals and people inside your home safe, even if you believe you cannot get COVID-19 from your dog. But what is the best way to do that?
The best option would be to limit your contact with others, both humans and animals, especially those who may have the virus. It’s also a good idea to stay a safe distance away from other pets when you walk your dog, avoid busy spaces like public dog parks, and aim to keep your cats indoors as much as possible.
We must remember the general guidelines on how to keep yourself and others protected. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends regularly washing your hands, keeping at least one meter away from others, and wearing a mask when you leave the house. And, of course, stay home if you believe you have symptoms of the virus.
There is little to no evidence right now that suggests your pets play a role in the spread of coronavirus, but it’s still a good idea to make sure you keep your loved ones safe. By limiting your contact with other people and animals, regularly washing your hands, and wearing a mask, you’ll be doing a great job at making a difference.