FAQ for San Jose Pet Owners on Pets and COVID-19
Get the Facts on Pets and COVID-19
Can your pet get COVID-19? We’ve been asked this question and numerous others over the past few months. Not only is a global pandemic a scary time for your own health, but it’s also a concern for pet wellness. At De Anza Veterinary Clinic, we’re committed to providing accurate information on the relationship between coronavirus and pets. Here we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and pets. If you find yourself with another unanswered question, reach out to us directly.
Can SARS-CoV-2 Infect Pets?
Some studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can infect pets, particularly cats. There have been reported instances of infection in Hong Kong and Belgium, but no confirmed cases in the United States. However, recent studies are showing that some pets may be susceptible to illness and may transmit the infection to other animals.
What Animals Are Affected by Coronavirus?
Several animals may be affected by coronavirus to varying degrees. Most studies suggest that cats are the most susceptible to the disease. However, researchers have also found signs of the condition in ferrets and dogs, although this is less common.
Can Pets Spread COVID-19?
As of late, there has been no evidence stating that animals can spread COVID-19 to humans. Most cases of the virus are transmitted by contact with human bodily fluids, and not animal contact. Nevertheless, it’s always advisable to properly wash your hands before and after coming into contact with a pet or another animal.
Can Collars and Leashes Spread SARS-CoV-2?
You’ve probably heard that coronavirus can spread on surfaces and objects. While it is technically possible for your pet’s collars or leash to be contaminated with the virus, it’s unlikely that the disease will spread via this method. Pet hair is porous, making it very rare to contract COVID-19 from playing with your cat or dog. While collars and leashes are not likely to spread disease, you should take care to keep them clean.
If I’m Sick, Should I Stay Away from Animals?
Although there’s minimal evidence to suggest animals are highly susceptible to disease, we still recommend limiting contact with your pets while you’re sick. We don’t have all the information on the virus just yet, and it’s best to take precautions.
Is Testing Available for Animals?
While uncommon, testing is available for animals. To qualify for COVID-19 testing, a veterinarian and local health officer must both sign off on your pet’s test. Different states may have varying standards for animal testing, so be sure to check with your local officials for updated guidelines.
Should Animals Showing Respiratory Symptoms Be Tested?
In most cases, testing is not recommended for pets and animals. However, testing may be granted in a few specific situations. Animals living in a residence that has had a COVID-19 outbreak or a pet that has come in close contact with a human with a confirmed case may qualify for limited testing.
Should I Take Precautions for Animals Recently Brought to the U.S.?
Because there’s little to suggest that animals play a role in the spread of the disease, you won’t need to take extra precautions for animals recently brought to the United States. These animals will have already met guidelines in place with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Pandemic or not, you should always monitor recently-imported animals for signs of any illness.
How Can I Protect Myself and My Pet from Infection?
To protect yourself from COVID-19, be sure to follow the instructions provided by the CDC. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, avoid large groups, and wear a mask whenever you must leave your home. However, caring for your pet during this time will look a little different. Keep at least a two-week supply of food and medications on-hand at all times. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about caring for your pet in the event you get sick.
Talk to Us for More Details
At De Anza Veterinary Clinic, we understand your concern for your pet’s safety during these uncertain times. If you suspect your pet is ill, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We serve San Jose, CA and the surrounding communities, and we’d be happy to provide outstanding care to you and your pet as well. Get in touch with us today to make an appointment or learn more about staying safe from COVID-19.