Do I need to quarantine my pet if I have COVID-19?
This is a frequent question that we get from ElleVet Sciences customers. With conflicting information being shown on social media, and new publicity and fear surrounding the tigers who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bronx Zoo, it makes sense that pet parents are concerned about how to plan for their pet during COVID.
While new information emerges each day about this unique strain of the Coronavirus, our Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Dr. Joe Wakshlag, has posted several videos on our Facebook and Instagram pages addressing information on quarantining your pet and reasonable precautions to take if you have COVID-19.
The most recent information we have from Dr. Wakshlag and the larger veterinary community is that you cannot contract COVID-19 from your cat or dog; however, if someone that is ill with COVID-19 sneezes or coughs on your pet, and then you or someone else touches your pet, it is possible to become infected. Dogs and cats themselves cannot transmit the virus to a human. So, if you have COVID-19 and you live with a dog or cat, it is a good idea to limit your pet’s contact with other people to help reduce your co-habitants contact with the illness.
Basic precautions – such as washing your hands after petting an animal outside your home or instructing family members to wash their hands after petting your dog or cat if someone in the home is ill – should be a standard plan for pets during the COVID-19 crisis.
If a family member is ill with COVID, quarantining both pets and family members from the individual is recommended.
What About the Bronx Zoo Tigers?
Several large cats housed in New York’s Bronx Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19, and they appear to have contracted the virus from their human caregiver. Since then, more information has emerged indicating that cats appear to be able to contract COVID-19 from humans. It is important to note, however, that cats CANNOT infect humans.
At this time, dogs do not appear to be able to contract COVID-19 from humans and cannot infect humans. To appropriately plan for your pet during COVID, it is best to keep your cat or dog inside and away from people outside your quarantine group.
If your cat appears to be showing respiratory issues, such as wheezing or coughing, contact your veterinarian. Additionally, if your cat is showing signs of respiratory distress or if a household member has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, consider quarantining your pet within the home as a precaution.
In the event that you become ill or hospitalized and you must relinquish care of your pet to another person, it is advisable to have a 2-3 week supply of food, medication, treats, cat litter, and anything else your pet might need. Gloves, masks, and appropriate hand washing techniques are also good practices for anyone caring for your pet in COVID quarantine.
If you do not have anyone to look after your pet or your entire household becomes ill, some shelters are offering to care for pets. This is a new situation that is constantly evolving, so be sure to check with your local shelter to see if they are providing temporary emergency care as part of their pet COVID preparation plan.
To reiterate, dogs cannot give the virus to humans unless they are coughed or sneezed on by an infected person, and someone then touches their face with the infected particles. As such, hand washing is a reasonable precaution at this time. Additionally, as COVID continues, quarantining your pet from outside visitors is another reasonable precaution.
For cat owners, keep your cat inside and quarantined from anyone outside of your home. If you or anyone in your family has COVID-19, then quarantining your cat within the home and asking caregivers to practice safety by wearing protective gear while caring for your pet is a reasonable precaution.
There is a concern that people will start giving their pets up to shelters out of fear of infection, so it is important for us at ElleVet to provide the most up-to-date information to protect stressed pets and keep them in the home. We love our pets like family, so taking precautions and treating them with the same social distancing and quarantining practices as you would for another family member will help to keep you both healthy and together.
Dr. Joe Wakshlag will be providing new information as it becomes available, so please check our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates to our best pet CBD products and new information on how to plan for your pet during COVID. If you have questions at any time about how to care for your pet during COVID quarantine, call or email our team at ElleVet Sciences – we are here to help.