can my dog catch coronavirus COVID-19?

coronavirus in pets | COVID-19
Posted by Petplan Veterinary Staff on Mar 06 2020

By now, most of us are familiar with the virus COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus.

Recent reports of a dog in Hong Kong testing positive for the coronavirus has many concerned pet parents asking 'can dogs catch coronavirus?'

Can dogs catch coronavirus?

While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. The CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.

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However, if this were to change, Petplan policy holders can expect to receive the same coverage and reimbursements as defined in your policy. Your policy defines “illness” as “any change to the normal healthy state of your pet such as a sickness, disease or medical condition (except behavioral disorders) not caused by an accident.”

As such, if your pet were to be diagnosed with an illness such as coronavirus COVID-19, your pet would be eligible for coverage subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations contained within your policy.

It is also important to note that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is different from coronaviruses found in cats and dogs.

Can pets carry coronavirus?

According to the CDC we know that coronaviruses can live on surfaces and objects. So in the same way the coronavirus could be present on the surface of a door handle it could be present on a dog or cat, even if animal has not been infected by the virus. At this time, however, the CDC says there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread to people from the skin or fur of pets.

How to prevent the spread of illness

It’s always a good idea to follow these recommendations from the CDC for preventing illness and the spread of disease:

  • Be sure to wash your hands:
    • After feeding, handling, or cleaning up after pets
    • Before eating, drinking or preparing food
    • After leaving an area where animal(s) live even if you didn’t touch an animal
  • Disinfect pet supplies outside of the house if possible—away from the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and food preparation areas
  • Immediately pick up and dispose of pet feces in the proper receptacle
  • Keep your pet up to date with all veterinary recommended preventive care
  • Avoid contact with wildlife and do not feed them
  • Do not “rescue” wildlife that appear abandoned

Remember to consult the experts. For more coronavirus COVID-19 updates visit the CDC and WHO websites.

For more information regarding coronavirus and pets, visit our COVID-19 resource center

For more information on staying safe and healthy around animals, including pets, consult your veterinarian.

Our team, including our on-staff veterinarians, will continue to monitor this situation and share information regarding the safety of your pets as it becomes available.

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