COVID-19 and Our Pets…What You Need to Know

Dr. Lisa Thilges

What we know…

● At this time, multiple international health organizations have indicated that pets and other domestic animals are not considered at risk for contracting COVID-19 .
● There is no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19
● There is no evidence that pets can be a source of COVID-19 for people
● One dog in Hong Kong has tested a weak positive for COVID-19,meaning there was a low virus load in the dog’s oral and nasal samples. The test could not reveal if the virus was found or if fragments of the virus RNA were found. The dog has not shown signs of the disease.

What should I do if my pets becomes sick and has been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19?

● There is no evidence that pets can become sick with COVID-19. If you are concerned, contact the public health official that is caring for the individual with COVID-19, or contact the Iowa Department of Public Health.
● If they direct you to bring your pet to your veterinarian, call your veterinarian before you bring them in to allow the team to prepare. Do not bring your pet to the veterinarian before contacting a public health official.

How can we protect ourselves and our pets?

● The CDC recommends that you should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around people until more information is known.
● If you must care for your pet while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.
● As always, animal owners should continue to include pets and other animals in their emergency preparedness planning, including keeping a two-week supply of food and medications on hand.

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