From The Tribune staff reports
ATLANTA — A small study out of Canada shows there are substantial rates of coronavirus infections in dogs and cats whose owners have coronavirus.
Researchers tested eight cats and 10 dogs after their owners tested positive for COVID-19 or had symptoms of the virus. Seven cats and two dogs tested positive for anti-bodies of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said most pets that have gotten sick have had only mild symptoms and fully recovered, but there are things pet owners can do to protect their pets.
- Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.
- If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.
- Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.
- Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet away from others.
- Avoid public places where a large number of people gather.
- Do not put a mask on pets. Masks could harm your pet.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
- Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.
- Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.
- Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health.
- Be aware that children 5 years of age and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and older adults are more likely to get sick from germs some animals can carry.