Many people are still worried about the relationship between COVID-19 and their pets. This new virus has us changing our game plan weekly, it seems. But this is what we know so far:
- Cats and Dogs can (rarely) naturally contract the COVID-Sars-2 virus. They rarely get sick, but it they do, it has been mild and self-resolving
- Minks (and therefore, presumably Ferrets– although *I couldn’t find any professional references to pet ferrets/ COVID-19*) can naturally contract and become symptomatic with COVID-19. Minks have developed respiratory signs AND gastrointestinal disease. Some died. This demonstrated that they were able to pass the disease amongst themselves.
- In the LABORATORY setting (where research animals have been super infected), cats, ferrets and hamsters have been found to pass the virus to animals of the SAME species.
- Domesticated animals (as far as we know to date) canNOT transfer COVID-19 directly to humans.
- It does not seem that pets from COVID-19 households can transfer the virus to a human.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PET PARENTS WHO BECOME SICK WITH COVID-19
- Stay away from your pets, especially your ferrets (whose genetic lineage seems to more seriously affected). Sorry no snuggling while you are feeling lousy in bed. 🙁
- Have someone else in the family care for the pets, if possible. If that’s not possible, wear a mask and gloves while tending to your pet. Avoid petting or intimate contact. Keep them out of your quarantine room/ bedroom. Consider asking a friend to care for your pet while you are ill.
For more detailed information, please see the CDC’s Page on COVID-19 and Animals