Canines, Cats, Coronavirus: Can My Child’s Furry Sibling Get COVID-19?

Child With Dog

To say that 2020 has been a challenging year would be a bit of an understatement. In the midst of all of the stress, there’s nothing like getting some snuggles from your four-legged family member and letting them work their calming magic. And your child probably feels the same way.

Since dogs and cats are beloved parts of the family, it’s natural to worry about their health and what COVID-19 means for them.

The good news is that there is little evidence to suggest that popular household pets can spread COVID-19 to their families. There have been a few reports of it spreading to people from infected minks on mink farms, but most studies have not shown transmission of the virus from dogs and cats to people.

The other good news is that even though your furry friend could get COVID-19 from you, it’s unlikely. There have only been a handful of cases reported in the entire world. And, the pets had either no symptoms or mild, treatable ones — and none of them have passed away from it.

However, there are still several things for you and your child to keep in mind about COVID-19 and safety if you have a fur baby.

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If your furry friend is diagnosed with COVID-19:

  • The symptoms are similar to the ones in humans, such as fever or cough. If your pet has new or worsening symptoms, call the vet.
  • Isolate them from other pets. It’s possible for infected animals to spread the virus to other animals of the same species.
  • Do not accompany your pet to the vet if you have COVID-19. The virus is highly contagious between people, so if you have COVID-19, it’s important to stay isolated. Ask a friend to take your pet to the vet instead.

And remember — just like you can reach out to your child’s pediatrician with questions about COVID-19 at any time, you can also always talk to your pet’s veterinarian if you’re concerned.

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