Has your pet been exposed to COVID-19? Thankfully, there is no evidence that dogs or cats can get sick from it, and experts say that the chances of pets facilitating the spread of the virus between people is low.
Even so, we are still learning how COVID-19 can affect our pets. Through an abundance of caution, you should quarantine your pets if you feel they may have been exposed.
Who Should Care For Pets In A Quarantined Household?
If someone in your household has tested positive, has been exposed to a confirmed case, or has symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath), they should be quarantined, and so should your pets.
It's vital that your pet does not go from person to person, as it may be possible for them to facilitate the spread of the virus. Your pet's soft fur can act as a fomite, or a surface on which the virus can survive and spread to anyone who pets them.
Though the chances of this happening are low, as the virus is more likely to be transmitted on smooth, non-porous surfaces, it makes sense to take extra steps to keep you and your family safe.
Pets should be kept away from the infected person, if possible. If the infected person is the pet's primary caretaker, and they're feeling well enough to continue those duties, the pet should stay quarantined with them.
Going For Walks With A Pet That Has Been Exposed
You can still take your dog for walks, permitting that you stay at least six feet away from other people and animals. Do not let anyone pet your dog.
Take Care When Handling Wastes
In humans, the virus has been found to shed through an infected person's feces. The same may be true for pets, even if they're asymptomatic but could be a carrier.
As always, pick up your dog's poop and clean your cat's litter-box immediately, then wash your hands. Do not allow children to clean up after pets.
Should We Go To The Vet If My Pet Has Been Exposed To COVID-19?
Unless your pet is due for their yearly exam or has health issues, there is no need to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Widespread COVID-19 testing is not available for pets at this time.
If your pet does need to see the vet, make sure you call ahead so the staff can take precautions to keep their other clients, the veterinarian, and the receptionists safe from exposure.
Avoid non-essential vet visits if you can. If your pet needs prescription medications, heartworm preventatives, or flea and tick medicine, you can have those products delivered to your home from 1800PetMeds.com. Just place your order and fill out your veterinarian's contact details during checkout, and we'll get in touch with your vet to verify the prescription.