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COVID-19 and Pets: Information for Pet Owners

Thursday March 19, 2020 | COVID-19 Information

Can my pet become ill from COVID-19 or transmit COVID-19?

Washingtonians love their pets! There is concern as to whether pets can carry or transmit the coronavirus that causes COVID19. We’ve found these resources to help you out.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) hosts a Resource page on COVID-19 with FAQs and advice for Veterinary Staff and “Caring for Veterinary Patients.” The AVMA concludes:

Considering this information in total, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations (CDC, OIE, WHO) agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19, out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If you are ill with COVID-19, be sure to tell your physician and public health official that you have a pet or other animal in your home. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal.

The Dog Aging Project is a large-scale research project of the University of Washingtin, Texas A&M University, with funding from the National INstitutues of Aging. The “DAP” team has put toether this summary article of “Dogs and COVID-19: What We Know and What We Don’t.” From the team on March 17th:

Currently there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is being transmitted between people and pets, or from pet-to-pet. There are no reports of a person becoming ill with COVID-19 from a dog (or cat). However, dealing with emerging viruses is always difficult because we cannot predict all of their behaviors accurately. We need to be realistic about what we do and don’t yet know.”  

Dog Aging Project

A very complete page is posted by the World Organization for Animal Health on COVID19 transmission, animals, and companion animals: World Organization for Animal Health‘s Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a Q&A for pet owners and the public on COVID19 and Animals.

IDEXX is one of the private companies producing SARS-CoV-2 test kits for animal health. They post a diagnostic update regarding viral occurance and transmission in animals. Emerging Coronavirus Strains and Veterinary Patients

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