COVID-19 Information Center

VINx Newsletter Template: COVID-19 and your pet: what are the risks?
April 10, 2020 (published)

Courtesy of VINx

Email Announcement:

Suggested subject line:
COVID-19 and your pet: what are the risks? From <hospital name>

Dear <hospital name> friends, 

Thank you for being patient as our practice implements measures to keep you and our staff safe from COVID-19. We know your family, like ours, has a lot going on these days, and it can be hard to keep current on the facts. 

One of the big questions we’ve been asked lately is, “Can I catch COVID-19 from my pet?” 

While the full answer is a little complicated, the short answer is “No.”

Fluffy and Fido are not a threat. 
Though there have been cases of a few non-human animals testing positive for COVID-19, there is no evidence so far that our pets can transmit this coronavirus to us. In fact, if there is a concern, it may be the other way around. So far, the only cases where animals have contracted COVID-19 have been where they were in contact with a virus-positive human. 

We know what you're thinking: "Oh, great! I don't want to make my pet sick!". Don't worry, we're on the same page there. 

All evidence points to COVID-19 being much better adapted to thrive in humans than in other species. There have been a couple of experimental studies (click here and here) to test infectiousness of the virus in other animals. So far here are the results:

  • Pigs: safe
  • Chickens: safe
  • Fruit bats: might be a little susceptible
  • Ferrets: susceptible
  • Cats: susceptible, but low rates of illness
  • Dogs: low susceptibility

But what about the tigers?
The lesson learned from the tiger at the Bronx Zoo is the same one we’d like you to take away from this. If you or anyone in your household is showing signs of illness (fever, cough, etc.) or has been exposed to someone known to have COVID-19, it’s best to avoid direct, close contact with your pets – especially cats and ferrets.    

You don’t have to do anything drastic, just wash your hands before and after handling your pets, and if there are sick humans in your house, keep pets of the feline, canine, and ferret variety out of the sickroom. No kitty snuggles for the convalescents with this bug.

For additional information on COVID-19 for pet owners, we recommend these articles: 

And one more important thing to keep in mind: information and recommendations may change as our understanding of the virus and associated disease evolves, so be sure to check with us and/or monitor the shared sources in this newsletter regularly for new information.  

Most importantly and as always, if you think your pet isn't well, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here for you!

Your friends at <hospital name>