Coronavirus (COVID-19)

You and Your Pets

Everyday Precautions for You

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Take everyday preventive actions

    • Clean your hands often

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.

    • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

    • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.

    • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.

    • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.

    • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)

    • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.

    • Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.

What about my pets?

Can I get it from my pets?

The biggest thing we have to remember is there are no proven cases of dogs giving it to people or even cats.

Cats and dogs can get coronavirus and show symptoms, but those strains are not COVID-19. There are no cases where dogs or cats have had symptoms from COVID-19.  Coronavirus has existed for years and it's never been something that's been transmitted to humans.

Can I give it to my pets?

Scientists found traces of coronavirus in a Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong. Following confirmation that the dog’s owner was positive for the virus causing COVID-19, the dog was taken from Hong Kong Island to a nearby animal quarantine facility. Subsequent tests performed on swabs collected from the dog’s nose and throat unexpectedly revealed coronavirus.

Whereas SARS-CoV-2 has the limelight at present, there are actually many different types of coronaviruses, and coronaviruses infecting dogs is nothing new. The first coronavirus to be reported in dogs was back in 1974. More recently in 2003, a novel canine coronavirus causing respiratory disease was identified in dogs in an animal shelter in the UK. This virus has since been reported worldwide.

Although canine coronaviruses are distinct from SARS-CoV-2, dogs are clearly susceptible to this family of viruses. Despite this, there are no previous instances of human coronaviruses infecting dogs or vice versa. For a virus to jump species, there are several hurdles they must overcome.


Practical Precautions with Your Pets

It comes down to treating your pets like everyone else in your lives.

Wash your hands before and after playing with them and the World Health Organization recommends refraining from kisses.


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