So here we are in the midst of a global pandemic that many of us have never come close to experiencing before. It's been scary, unpredictable, isolating and devastating.
We've quickly come to understand the human to human transmission and steps to take to avoid succumbing to this potentially deadly virus. But what about our pets - can they contract the virus?
According to the the World Organization for Animal Health cats and dogs have tested positive following contact with a person who has COVID19. Cats may display respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms. Studies thus far have found that dogs appear to be less affected than cats. These rare cases, however, are not the driver of the virus, transmission is driven by human to human contact.
It is recommended that if you or someone in your household falls ill to COVID19 they should isolate or limit contact as much as possible from the pet and wear a face mask (that's the infected human - not the pet). If possible have the pet taken care of by another family member. The pet should also be kept inside inline with your local lock down measures.
Always maintaining good hygiene with your pets is important regardless of the current circumstances. So you should't need to make any major changes to looking after your pet during this time.
Below are some tips:
- Make sure you are washing your hands before and after touching your pet
- Keep your pet's bowls & feeding area washed and clean
- Avoid cross contamination with food
- Keep your pet clean and well groomed
- Remove and dispose of pet waste in a sanitary manner
- Call or take your pet to the vet if they are experiencing any abnormal symptoms
- Remember your pet is not the transmitter of the virus so please do not abandon your pet - this would be abuse and mis-treatment of your pet.
For additional information please visit the World Organization for Animal Health's website: https://www.oie.int/en/scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-coronavirus/
Stay safe and love and care your pet