What’s happening in our world today is unprecedented. COVID-19 coronavirus has brought our modern American lives to a screeching halt. Oftentimes, it comes with fear and uncertainty for us, our families, and our pets. Even though many stores are closed, pet care is an essential business. Therefore, pet care like grooming and doggy daycare services are staying open when other facilities may be closed.

American Veterinary Medical Association

Here’s more good news. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), we do not need to fear cuddles with our fur-babies. Pets do not spread the COVID-19 coronavirus to each other, nor to humans. So, if you have taken them out of doggy day care to prevent the spread fo COVID-19, it is unnecessary. You dogs need play time as much as you need them to burn off excess energy.

Questions & Answers about COVID-19

Q: Can pets serve as fomites in the spread of COVID-19?
A: COVID-19 appears to be primarily transmitted by contact with an infected person’s bodily secretions, such as saliva or mucus droplets in a cough or sneeze. COVID-19 might be able to be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface or object (i.e., a fomite) and then touching the mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this appears to be a secondary route. Smooth (non-porous) surfaces (e.g., countertops, door knobs) transmit viruses better than porous materials (e.g., paper money, pet fur), because porous, and especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the pathogen (virus), making it harder to contract through simple touch. Because your pet’s hair is porous and also fibrous, it is very unlikely that you would contract COVID-19 by petting or playing with your pet. However, because animals can spread other diseases to people and people can also spread diseases to animals, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands before and after interacting with animals; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; and regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys.
Q: What should I do if my pet or service animal becomes ill after being around someone who has been sick with COVID-19?
A: Contact your veterinarian before you bring your pet or service animal to the clinic. You should tell them why you are concerned about your animal being ill (e.g., what clinical signs of illness you are seeing) and also that the animal has been exposed to someone who has been sick with COVID-19. Advance notice will help your veterinarian determine whether your animal needs to be seen immediately and, if so, will support the veterinary clinic/hospital in preparing for the proper admittance of that animal, including the preparation of an isolation area as needed. Do not take the animal to a veterinary clinic until you have consulted with your veterinarian. And, of course, a telemedicine consult should be considered as an option as well. Remember, currently we have no evidence that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they can spread the disease. If you pet is ill there is most likely a different cause for that illness.
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