What We Know about Pets and COVID-19

In October, it was reported that a cat in Cumberland County was Pennsylvania’s first feline to be diagnosed with COVID-19.   The cat, who lived in a household with several people who had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19, was humanely euthanized due to respiratory distress.

What do we know about pets and COVID-19?  The most important this is, that your pets are not a danger to youThere is no proof that companion animals can spread COVID-19 to humans.

The following list of recommendations for keeping your pet safe during COVID-19 is from American Pets Alive:

  • Your pets should be social distancing with you! Meaning, don’t allow your pets to interact with people or pets outside your household.
  • Keep your cats indoors when possible. This doesn’t mean bring stray cats into your home. Leave stray cats alone, unless they are in danger!
  • Walk your dog(s) on a leash and maintain at least six feet of distance from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you should distance yourself from your pets, just like you would the people in your household. This doesn’t mean your pets need to leave your household. You just need to avoid contact and have someone else in your household care for them.
  • Make an emergency plan for your pets. Should you get sick and need to be hospitalized, your pet might need to go stay somewhere else.

You can find an up-to-date list of confirms cases of COIVD-19 in animals in the U.S. on the USDA website.

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