Pets and The Coronavirus, COVID-19: What You Need to Know

The novel Coronavirus has the globe in a state of panic and is also worrying pet parents. COVID-19 was originally introduced by bats, or at least is believed to have passed from animals to humans at some point. It is reasonable to worry over the subsequent impact this serious virus could have on pets.

As a pet parent, you want to protect your furry friend from harm. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the coronavirus and your pets:

Pug in a blanket (not sick from COVID-19)
Photographer: Matthew Henry

Pets and The Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

Can a Pet Get Infected & Transmit COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is currently no evidence that companion animals like your cat or dog can spread COVID-19 or that they are a source of the virus in America. If you read about a dog or cat contracting the coronavirus, don’t panic. In fact, the CDC themselves addressed this issue to combat the misinformation that was spreading like wildfire throughout the county:

“While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person, but there is no reason to think that any animals or pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this novel coronavirus.”

Chief officer Gail Golab of The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) addressed the issue to calm the panic of pet owners relating to COVID-19 and their pets. She said:

“We’re not overly concerned about people contracting COVID-19 through contact with cats and dogs. The virus survives best on smooth surfaces, such as countertops and doorknobs. Porous materials, such as pet fur, tend to absorb and trap pathogens, making it harder to contract them through touch.”

But What About The Tiger?

While it’s confirmed that Nadia, the Falayan Tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19, experts have stressed there is no evidence they can become sick or spread the disease. There are no indications yet, that it will or has affected household animals.

A Tiger At The Bronx Zoom Confirmed To Test Positive.

All that to answer the question - it is unlikely your pet will fall ill from this specific strain of the virus, COVID-19.

Do You Need to Protect Your Pet From COVID-19?

No. If your pet is healthy, there is no reason to take any special measures to ensure your pet is safe from the virus. If you should contract COVID-19 yourself, try to limit your interaction with your pet. This isn’t to reduce their risk of getting the virus, rather reducing the spread of the virus to another human through their fur. There is very little evidence that implies there is even a chance to pass the virus from person-to-person via a pet. However, if you do have the virus, limiting your contact with your pet is one way to be extra careful. Your pet does not need a face mask or any other protective gear to protect them from the virus.

Be Prepared to Stay In, How to Get What You Need From Home

While there is no evidence a pet can contract COVID-19 or give it to anyone, you likely want to obey the requests of many governors, city officials, the President and infectious disease experts and “stay in” when possible. This means you won’t get out to buy their pet food or any medications, disease prevention, toys, supplies or supplements. You can have most of these delivered to your home, either through direct purchases from sites or delivery from brick-and-mortar stores.

Bottom line, there are many ways to get your pet everything they need without actually leaving your house. Consider a telehealth option if you need vet assistance, rather than taking your pet into a clinic. Pet Assistant offers a fully integrated solution that includes food, supplements, parasite prevention meds, insurance, and even a free telehealth service, all through a single tech platform that delivers directly to your home. If your pet does have a health issue, telehealth is your first line of defense.

Pets on Quarantine: How to Embrace Quarantine With Your Pet

Admittedly, as humans, quarantine can be a bit confining. If you are a person who enjoys social interaction, even feeds off of it emotionally, it can be downright discouraging. However, quarantining is necessary to get this virus out of America, so you must stay put. Although this might drive you crazy, your pet is likely to have the time of their lives. After all, when was the last time you were able to spend this much time with them? When last did your pet have your undivided attention? Now’s the opportune time to spend time with your pet. Perhaps it will even help you see the world through their eyes.

Pets are old hat at this quarantine lifestyle. Don’t waste this unusual opportunity you now have to spend more time with your pet. There likely won’t be another such occurrence within your pet’s lifetime, so enjoy them as much as possible. Buy them a new toy, have it delivered, play a game with them, just enjoy this time.

What Can We Learn From Our Pets?

Your pets can teach you a great deal about life. For example, pets enjoy all the simple pleasures of life. You can learn a lot from their attitude towards life in general, especially in a time like now when quarantine and COVID-19 have drastically altered your everyday routine. Look to your pets to learn how to embrace the simplicity of playing a game, taking a walk outside in the sunshine, or simply hanging out. Your pets have lived the quarantine life for years. Now you can learn from them. Note how they don’t fret or worry over what might happen. They simply trust you to take care of them. This uncomplicated way of looking at life that your pets already have is worth emulating in the current situation.

What it Means to Be a Great Pet Parent: Life After COVID-19

As a pet parent, your main goal is to keep your pet safe, fed and to ensure they are loved. It is a lifelong commitment, not one to be entered in lightly. When the restrictions lift and life goes back to normal, the COVID-19 experience should teach you something as a pet parent.

You might begin to look at your daily walk with your dog, not as a chore, but something akin to a privilege. You “get” to do it, not you “have” to do it. Also, know that your pet will and already has put so much faith in you to take care of them. That hasn’t changed. When COVID-19, 2020 becomes a memory, remember the lessons you learned from your pet during this time and continue to be the very best pet parent possible for them. They deserve that and so much more!


Sources:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html

AVMA: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/news/can-dogs-get-coronavirus/