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Pets and COVID-19

Several pets have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States. This has caused a surge of emotions among animal lovers. At TLC for Pets in Reisterstown, our veterinarians know that you want to keep your animals safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19:

Which Pets Have Been Infected?

So far, not many dogs and cats have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States. There may be more infected animals out there who have few or no symptoms. Fortunately, for now, it appears rare for pets to contract the virus.

How do Animals Get COVID-19?

It’s too early to say for certain. Two of the animals that tested positive had owners who were severely ill with COVID-19. A third animal came from a household with no confirmed cases of the virus. It is unknown how that pet caught the virus.

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19 in Pets?

Some of the animals had mild respiratory illnesses. Others showed no symptoms but tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

Can an Infected Pet Transmit the Virus?

There have been no confirmed cases of this happening from pets to people. It has been suggested that transmission may be possible between cats. However, this is very preliminary and nothing has been proven. We simply don’t have enough information at this time.

How Can You Protect Your Pet from the Illness?

Many of the guidelines for preventing COVID-19 transmissions among humans help here as well.

  • Wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds.
  • When walking your dog, stay at least six feet away from other people and avoid crowds.
  • Don’t put coverings on your pet’s face. A cover is unlikely to fit or seal properly and could harm or upset your pet.
  • Don’t wipe your pets’ fur with disinfectants or other products that are not meant for animals.

What if you or a member of the household has COVID-19? Isolate as much as possible. Try to keep the infected person in one room or area of the home. It’s tempting to want to cuddle with your cat when you are ill, but it's safer to keep your distance for a few weeks as you recover. Take your pet to a veterinarian if you suspect they’re sick but be sure to call the vet first.

Does Your Pet Need Veterinary Care?

At TLC for Pets, our animal hospital is here for you and your furry friend during these troubling times. We pride ourselves in offering the best possible pet care in Reisterstown. Call us today at (410) 833-1717 to schedule an appointment. If your pet is having a medical emergency, come by during office hours -- no appointment is needed.