- 10 things you can do to make veterinary visits better for everyone | American Veterinary Medical Association
- Pets and COVID
We often get phone from pet owners about concerns for their pets during the COVID Pandemic.
Although, research is ongoing about transmission of COVID between animals and humans, it is best to always be careful when either species is ill.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association's website, "*pets do not appear to be easily affected by Sars-Co-V-2"* An article on the AVMA website goes on to say, "during the first five months of the COVID-19 outbreak (January 1 – June 8, 2020), which includes the first twelve weeks following the March 11 declaration by the WHO of a global pandemic, fewer than 20 pets have tested positive, with confirmation, for SARS-CoV-2 globally. This despite the fact that as of June 8, the number of people confirmed with COVID-19 exceeded 7 million globally and 1.9 million in the United States.
There have been fewer than 25 reports from around the world of pets (dogs and cats) being infected with SARS-CoV-2; however, none of these reports suggest that pets are a source of infection for people.
The American Veterinary Medical Association offers the following helpful advice.
"Other appropriate practices include not letting pets interact with people or other animals outside the household; keeping cats indoors, if possible, to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people; walking dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals; and avoiding dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
If you are ill with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed with a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with other people; have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick; avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. Additional guidance on managing pets in homes where people are sick with COVID-19 is available from the CDC.
While we are recommending these as good practices, it is important to remember that there is no evidence at this time that animals play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. Accordingly, there is no reason to remove pets from homes where COVID-19 has been identified in members of the household, unless there is risk that the pet itself is not able to be cared for appropriately. In this pandemic emergency, pets and people each need the support of the other and veterinarians are there to support the good health of both. "