covid-19 and my pets

Can I catch COVID-19 from my pet?

If you’ve been following the developing news about the coronavirus COVID-19, you’re probably wondering of you can catch it from your pet. Well, the Center for Disease Control says that it’s highly unlikely.

So far, the CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals being sick with the COVID-19 virus. However, it is recommended that you take the same precautions with your pet as you would with human contact. Wash your hands before and after feeding or playing with your pets and handling their toys. Avoid letting them lick your face, and avoid close cuddles and bedtime snuggles. Of course, all that sounds like no fun for either you or your pet. But to keep yourself and your pet healthy, a bit of caution is well worth it.

What should I do if I test positive for the virus?

If you’ve tested positive for the CORVID-19 virus, test your pet too! And then keep contact with your pet to a minimum. The CDC advises:

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

~ Center for Disease Control and Prevention website

Should I put down my pet if it gets sick from COVID-19?

On the more extreme side of things, there have been some anecdotal reports of people wanting to euthanize their pets. They think that this will eliminate the risk of virus transmission. However, as of this writing, I’ve been unable to find any reliable sources to confirm these stories. To be sure – there is no need to go to that extreme. If you are concerned, have your pet tested.

While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person in China. There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.

~ Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The media tends to show us the worst case scenarios about this newly developing issue. But what the media doesn’t always say is that most people do recover from this virus. Those most at risk are the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. Just as with the regular flu, it’s the secondary infections like pneumonia that usually cause the worst of the complications. There is no reason or data to suggest the same won’t be true for our pets.

Don’t panic. Follow CDC guidelines, and educate yourself about this virus. Keep checking the CDC website for more information as they have it.

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