This information is for reference only. This information can change, based on guidance from health experts. If you're concerned about your pet's health, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Your pets and COVID-19.
COVID-19 is primarily effecting humans, but if the past two years have taught us anything, it's smart to be vigilant and informed. There has been a handful of confirmed COVID-19 cases within different animal species, primarily in zoos and farming environments. We've compiled some trusted resources, to help you know what to look out for in your pets, and how to play it safe.
This is a living document. It will change over time, depending on things such as changing recommendations from public health experts, as scientific research progresses. Last updated Monday, March 14th, 2022.
- The JServices Team
Information based on the United States. COVID-19 is the disease caused by this specific strain of coronavirus. We will refer as to both as COVID-19 on this page. Last updated Monday, March 14th, 2022.
Health experts have concluded that different animals, such as dogs and cats, CAN get COVID-19.
According to the APHIS, confirmed cases, as of February 28th, 2021, includes 131 animals. This includes 7 tigers, 3 snow leopards, 3 lions, 3 gorillas, 41 dogs, 58 cats, and 16 minks. There is no definitive information for other animals at this time. New case count information is no longer being released.
Currently, experts believe that animals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 had the virus transmitted to them from being in extremely close contact with a person who had COVID-19. (Source, paragraph 4)
Observable symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, general sluggishness, excessive sneezing or runny noses, eye discharge (excessive crust or liquid in your pet's eyelids), vomiting, and diarrhea. While these can be caused by other factors, it's a good idea to contact a veterinarian if you believe these are caused by a COVID-19 infection. (Source, section 3)
Animals that have contracted COVID-19 have all been expected to make a recovery.
We were unable to find a confirmation of a complete recovery. We define a complete recovery as having no long term effects and no active infection. No major symptoms have been reported. Keep in mind, we still don't know the long term effects on these animals, or how the virus will affect different animals, even of the same species. (Source, section 3)
If you feel your pet may need a test, contact a veterinarian. (Source, paragraph 3)
Experts don't think that pets currently play a role in spreading COVID-19. The risk of animals spreading COVID-19 is considered to be a low risk at this time. As long as you aren't diagnosed or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, it's safe to continue seeing your pets. (Source, paragraph 7)
Pets cannot wear a mask safely. Please take other precautions with your pets to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Source, section 2)
Mink deaths have been reported on mink farms with COVID-19 outbreaks. However, these deaths are not confirmed to be COVID-19 deaths. (Source, paragraph 10)
Some animals spread COVID-19 easier than other animals, but more research is needed to verify these findings. For example, dogs don't spread COVID-19 to other dogs as easily as cats and ferrets potentially could spread it to their own species. (Source, paragraph 18)
Vaccines are being worked on
A COVID-19 vaccine for animals is an important step in combating COVID-19. Work on a vaccine is underway at pharmaceutical company Zoetis, according to a press release. As more information becomes available, we'll update this page.
If you think your pet needs medical attention
If you think your pet needs medical attention, contact a veterinarian remotely first. Different veterinary offices may have differing guidelines, and it's important to familiarize yourself with them first. Be sure to let them know that you know or suspect that you or your pet may have COVID-19.
As we still don't know a lot about how COVID-19 affects animals, the CDC recommends taking a few simple precautions. (Sources, paragraphs 8 and 9)
Make sure that everyone in your household who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine is vaccinated. The less likely you are to be infected with COVID-19, the less likely it is you spread it to your pets.
If you are attending a gathering with your pet, keep your pet at least 6 feet away from anyone else. Keep dogs on a leash.