Concerned about how coronavirus affects your pet? Check out these tips.

Posted at 9:25 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 21:25:50-04

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the globe and across the nation, people are concerned about the health and safety of their family, including their pets.

In consultation with Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinarian on Rover’s Dog People Panel and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, and in accordance with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Rover has put together a resource for pet parents to address questions they may have about the virus and how it affects their pets.

Can Pets Get the Coronavirus?

According to the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be shared between people and their dogs, cats or other companion animals. A companion animal of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 could carry the virus on their fur or elsewhere on their body, so they echo the CDC’s recommendation to “wash your hands after being around animals.”

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions, by Rover to Dr. Richter.

Should I be concerned about my dog or cat picking up the novel coronavirus infection?

There is no evidence at this time that dogs or cats can become ill due to the novel coronavirus. There have been cases of dogs testing weak positive when they have been living with an infected person, but it is not suspected these animals can pass the virus to humans.

Should I be cleaning my dog/cat more often? Should I sanitize my pet in any way?

There are no particular precautions regarding keeping pets clean relative to the coronavirus.

If the pet was exposed to an infected person, it is theoretically possible that virus particles on their fur could be picked up by a human as a result of petting (although this is unlikely).

If a pet is suspected to have been exposed to an infected person, bathing the pet should resolve any concerns about them carrying virus on their fur.

Should I change my behavior around my cat/dog while this disease is going around?

There is no evidence to suggest this is necessary.

Should I be afraid of petting other dogs, going to the dog park, or gathering in large groups of other pets?

The concern here is from people, not other animals. Going to the dog park might expose people to other infected humans. There is currently no evidence to suggest that transmission from dog (or cat) to human has occurred.

Concerned about how to manage working from home and caring for your pet? Try taking daily walks or stay active with your dogs indoors.

For more information on other tips surrounding your pets and the coronavirus, click here.