Can Dogs and Cats Get Coronavirus?

can dogs and cats get coronavirus

Can Your Dog or Cat Contract Coronavirus?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a global epidemic, affecting almost all nations of the world. There have been thousands of deaths and confirmed cases of coronavirus since its outbreak in late 2019. In a rather disturbing twist of event, some patients who have been confirmed negative to COVID-19 are now testing positive again.
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So, most people are wondering if dogs and cats can get coronavirus disease. The long and short of it is that dogs and cats cannot get COVID-19, but can contract the coronaviruses; the group of viruses that coronavirus belongs to.
A cat that has contracted feline coronavirus, they may not display any symptoms apart from mild diarrhea. This can deteriorate to a cat disease called Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).
According to Wendy Brooks, DVM, DABVP, Feline Infectious Peritonitis is an infectious disease with 100% mortality rate. FIP is infectious, but it isn’t contagious to humans. FIP is caused by the infection of coronaviruses within the intestines of a cat.
A cat with feline coronavirus doesn’t ultimately imply they will develop FIP, though they can, but in rare cases.

Can Dogs Get COVID-19?

So, can dogs get COVID-19? The answer to this question is NO. A dog with canine coronavirus is called Pantropic Canine Coronavirus. There have been outbreaks of canine coronavirus (CCOV) in France and Belgium. Canine coronavirus resides in the intestine of dogs, and can lead to death in severe cases. In recent studies, the results indicate that CCoV now migrates to other sensitive organs.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) as of March 2020 stated that there is no proof that dogs and cats can infect humans with COVID-19. The body added that there is no evidence that a dog, cat, or any pet spread COVID-19. According to WHO, the only proven route of COVID-19 spread is through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
WHO added that this recent COVID-19 outbreak is in no way a threat to cats and dogs because they cannot contract it from humans.
Pet owners don’t need to be scared that they will contract coronavirus from their pets or their pets can get infected. However, it is advisable for all pet owners to abide to the basic hygiene precautions of washing their hands before and after contact with their cats and dogs.
Those with pets who have tested positive to coronavirus are to avoid touching their pets as doing this can cause the virus to get transmitted to furs of cats, dogs, rabbits, and other furry pets. This can cause an healthy person to get infected if they make contact with the animal. It is best to wipe your pet’s paws when they come in and out of the house.

Signs of Coronavirus in Dogs and Cats

Like we discussed, cats and dogs cannot contract the COVID-19 currently plaguing the world. However, there are telling signs that can indicate if your pet has contracted the coronavirus that animals can get. The symptoms of coronavirus in cats and dogs may include:
  • High temperature
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Low appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Low energy
Ensure you immediately confer with your pet’s vet when you notice any of these symptoms. There may be some stuff your vet can do to fight the symptoms and make your pet more comfortable.
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A pet owner whose furry friend is infected with a virus should endeavor to keep their environment clean to prevent the virus from turning into a deadly disease. Antibiotics to fight coronavirus are unfortunately not available. However, there are medications that can help ease your pet’s symptoms and manage secondary bacterial infections.
A cat having diarrhea may have contracted a virus. It is best to withhold food for about one day to allow the infection pass through their intestine and to observe your dog for other symptoms. After 24 hours, you can begin to gradually feed your pet with small quantities of bland foods to help their gut fight off the infection.

How to Prevent Dogs and Cats from Contracting Coronavirus

Your dogs or cats can contract forms of the coronavirus through oral contact with infected feces, infected food bowls, or other infected matter. Dogs may not indicate any sign until 4 days after getting exposed to the virus.
READ ALSO: What Human Foods are Safe for Dogs?
During this period of COVID-19 outbreak your dog would have to avoid dog parks, trails, boarding facilities, and other public places.
Keep a close watch on your dog to avoid it establishing oral contact with any foreign materials outdoors. Ensure you keep your pet’s toys and other items it comes in contact with daily in hygienic condition. Your pet should never share bowls with other animals.

Can I Get Coronavirus from my Pet?

No. You cannot contract coronavirus from your pet. Studies have proven that humans cannot get feline and canine coronavirus and pets cannot contract COVID-19 from humans.
Ensure you keep your pets clean. Give your dog a bath on weekly basis and wash your hands under running water for about 20 seconds with anti-bacterial soap. Avoid coughing into your hands, instead cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose immediately.

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