There’s been some speculation online whether companion animals can carry coronavirus, but it’s all a myth: cats and dogs are not a coronavirus risk!
According to the World Health Organization, “there is no evidence that companion animals … such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19”.
If an infected person pets a dog or cat and leaves the coronavirus in the animal’s fur, that’s no different than if it’s left on a doorknob, a handrail, another human hand, or any other surface that an infected person has touched.
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Here are some tips on keeping companion and community animals safe:
- Never put any face masks on animals, as they can cause breathing difficulties.
- If you aren’t shaking someone’s hand, that person shouldn’t be petting your dog or cat, either.
- Do not restrict the movement or activities of companion and community animals or do anything else that would compromise their overall welfare.
- Best practices include making sure companion and community animals in your area are up to date on vaccinations, they receive annual veterinary check-ups, and preventive measures are taken to protect them from heartworm, fleas, and ticks.
- People who are sick or under medical attention for COVID-19 should avoid close contact with animals and should have another member of their household care for animals so as not to get the virus on their fur.
During this time of crisis caused by the coronavirus, it is important that everyone makes efforts to protect all companion animals from any potential abuse resulting from the spread of myths.