Can Animals Get Coronavirus? Tips, Precautions And Other Important Details

Health

'Can animals get coronavirus?' is one of the most frequent questions that crosses every pet owner's mind right now. Here's a quick glimpse regarding the same.

Written By Aditi Sharma | Mumbai | Updated On:
can animals get coronavirus

As of March 16, 2020, there are more than 1 lakh 30 thousand confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world. Some reports say that since the experts have predicted a rise in the number of cases over the coming weeks, the government of India has been taking several measures and also opening several test centers where you can be safely tested for the COVID-19, Novel Coronavirus.

Can animals get coronavirus?

Coronavirus has caused major concern among the people who own pets. There are several reports that have been released by WHO regarding the safety of pets.

On March 12, 2020, The WHO told Quartz in an email that, “currently, there is no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats have infected humans with Covid-19 or can pets get coronavirus".

The revised stance comes in the wake of an infected dog being found in Hong Kong. The dog tested positive after remaining with its owners who were sick with the virus. The dog wasn’t showing any clinical signs of the disease, according to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health. There’s no evidence that dogs can spread the disease or that the disease can cause an animal to fall ill, the organization says, though further studies may bring new findings regarding 'can dogs get coronavirus'. 

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World organization for Animal Health advises pet owners infected or susceptible to being infected with the coronavirus to avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of the household care for the animals. If they must look after their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and wear a face mask if possible.

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Shelley Rankin, a microbiologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, advises pet owners to include animals in their family’s preparedness planning. She says that some animals might be quarantined in a hospital, or at home.

Tips for keeping your pets and family safe

  • If you haven't been tested positive or been asked to self-isolate then continue to interact with your pets as normal but adopt good hygiene practices including washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching them, their food, toys, and bedding.
  • Avoid being kissed or licked and sharing food with your pet. 
  • Ensure you have extra supplies of pet food and medication in case of self-isolation.
  • Speak to your vet or doctor for more advice.

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What if you are diagnosed with Coronavirus, can cats get coronavirus from you?

  • If you have been diagnosed with Coronavirus (Covid-19) then you should inform your local health protection team that there is a pet in the household. They will liaise with the relevant animal health authorities.
  • The current advice is to restrict contact with pets as much as possible as a precautionary animal health measure. If you do need to interact with your pet, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible. 
  • If your pet shows signs of ill health, please do not take them to the vet. Contact your local health protection team for advice. 

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