Since the latest news of the first dog confirmed positive for COVID-19, the initial fears of a pet transmissible disease have again been ignited. However, there is currently no evidence that the disease can be spread to humans from pets.
Veterinary professionals initially were more worried about possible transmission of the virus on fur touched by infected people. Now that we understand more the transmission mode of the virus, the risk from these types of transmission is presumed to be extremely low.
The Ontario Veterinary College is currently studying COVID-positive households with pets to find out if more pets are testing positive for COVID-19. This information could further our understanding of how the disease is transmitted.
Research to date has indicated that pets in close contact with COVID-19-positive humans can catch the virus. Cats are seemingly more susceptible. Whether that is a function of their species or their habits is still being examined. It may simply be that cats lie down on beds or couches with sick owners and have more exposure.
Furthermore, it’s theorized that companion animals are incidental hosts who may catch COVID-19 from their owners. If a person becomes infected, their pets should also be isolated for the designated period.
While the risk to the animal is low, it is one more reason to wash your hands and keep your distance.
Toronto AMS is here for you and your beloved companions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact us for professional clinical pet transport (safety and social-distance compliant policy in place). For more information, call 416-449-7387.
Amanda G. is an RVT and a valued member of Toronto AMS.