Here’s what we know as of March 27, 2020. Today’s pandemic with COVID-19 makes it a very uncertain world to live in and people are left with many questions. As with all viruses, the primary way COVID-19 is spread is through droplets of secretions, through coughing, sneezing, saliva or mucus. If these secretions are left on a smooth non-porous surface (i.e. counter tops) it can be transmitted to others easily. If secretions are left on a porous surface it is less likely to be transmitted due to the virus being absorbed and trapped. Our pet’s fur is considered porous so is less likely to transmit the virus to others.
Are there viruses where animals can infect humans?
Yes, the SARS-CoV-2 originated from bats. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are examples of diseases caused by coronaviruses that originated in animals and spread to people.
Can animals or humans with COVID-19 infect each other?
There is no know evidence that people can transmit COVID-19 to our pets, but because the research is limited with this newer virus, the CDC suggested to play it safe and have someone else care for your pet if you are sick. If this is not an option, just practice good hygiene by hand washing and a little more distancing (meaning less snuggle time).
Do we have any testing to date on COVID-19 and animals?
The origin of COVID-19 is thought to be from Wuhan, China. The first person to test positive had a 17-year-old Pomeranian, they quarantined the Pomeranian and tested it several times which revealed a “weak” positive for SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). The betacoronavirus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2. (1) In this same case there was a second dog in this same household which tested negative. Neither of these dogs had any symptoms of the virus. In another situation of a person that tested positive for COVID-19, their dog was placed in quarantine. This 2-year-old German Shepard also tested “weak” positive for SARS-CoV-2. Also, in this case was a second dog in the household which tested negative and neither had any symptoms of the virus.
What should I do if someone in my family test positive of COVID-19?
Rest assured that if we use good hygiene with our pets, they should be safe from COVID-19. It is important to remember that, to date, there is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people. (2) We should be using good hygiene between us and our pets in any situation to keep us both safe from zoonotic (diseases that can be transmitted between people and animals) diseases.
In closing, your pets are our pets. As information becomes known to us regarding COVID-19 and our pets, we will pass this onto our client-family, so that you can safeguard your pets. If you and your pets are healthy, it is best practice to go on daily walks for exercise and a great way to improve our mental well-being.