Can humans get COVID-19 from dogs or cats?

On the basis of the information available to date, the risk of animals spreading Novel Coronavirus to people is considered to be low.

In total, all over the world, there are few dogs and cats have  been tested positive in comparison to humans.

Cats and dogs are much more likely to get novel coronavirus than their stray peers and cats are more prone to the virus than dogs, new research suggests.

The scientists also discovered that the number of time a pet owner spent with their dog did not have an effect on their dog’s possibility of getting novel coronavirus, but that was different in case of cats. The more time cats spent with their human owners, the chances are high that they were to be infected. In particular, cats who slept on their owner’s bed had a great probability of infection.

Hence most likely the direction of infection is from human to pet, not contrary. Therefore the pet owners shouldn’t concerned about getting Covid-19 from their pets, said Dorothee Bienzle, a professor of veterinary pathology at the University of Guelph and co-author of the study.

Individuals who have Novel Coronavirus should take measures to take care their pets, Bienzle said. This interprets wearing a mask and keeping away from their cats and dogs to the maximum.

“At this point, we should assume that if we get infected, that our pets are susceptible, too, and they should be treated as any other household member,” she said.

As of March 25, Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department “conducted tests on 17 dogs and eight cats from households with confirmed COVID-19 cases or persons in close contact with confirmed patients, and only two dogs had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.”

Hong Kong officials stress that “these findings indicate that dogs and cats are not infected easily with this virus, and there is no evidence that they play a role in the spread of the virus.”

And also there is no evidence that proves that the viruses, including the virus that causes Novel Coronavirus, can spread to individuals from the skin, fur or hair of pets as well.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare.”

Leave a Comment