Recently, there has been much media coverage around a tiger at the Bronx Zoo that tested positive for COVID-19. As animal lovers, it’s heartbreaking to think that this terrible virus could be spread to these beautiful creatures.
In light of this news, the question on most of our minds is: what about other cats and companion animals? Guidance from the CDC, World Health Organization, as well as the USDA and American Veterinary Medical Association remains the same:
- While both cats and dogs can test positive (based on what we’ve seen in Hong Kong and now the Bronx Zoo), there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19 to humans.
- Still, there is a risk that humans can transmit the virus to their pets.
What can you do to safeguard your pets during this crisis?
- Just as we are practicing social distancing from other people, it’s important for your pets to do so as well. For their health, don’t let anyone outside your own household pet your dog or cat right now.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, see if another member of your household can take care of your pet while you recover. Now is a great time to connect with your family members, neighbors, and friends to identify someone who could take care of your pet[s] if needed.
- If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, don’t share food, kiss, hug or cuddle them, and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal.
- You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
Additional guidance on managing pets in homes where people are sick with COVID-19 is available from the CDC.
Most importantly: Keep your pets at home with you — even if you’re self-quarantined — because it’s the best place for them to be.
During difficult times like this, there is nothing quite like the love and affection we get from our pet companions. Now more than ever, we need the unconditional support they provide for us just as much as they need us to keep them safe and healthy.
As always, we are committed to making sure no pet is left behind. Thank you for your support and all that you’re doing to stay safe at home with your pets.