The topic of pets and covid, after being a hot topic during the early months of the pandemic, has been forgotten in recent months. Here are some important updates to consider.
First of all, it is worth remembering that, although cases of positivity have been found among domestic animals, they do not play any kind of epidemiological role in the spread of the virus.
Can pets become infected?
The answer is yes. Covid positivity has also been found among domestic animals. The animals affected worldwide have been dogs, cats and ferrets, but also animals in zoos, minks and wild deer. Dogs and cats in particular can become ill, but these are sporadic cases followed by mild and short-lived symptoms.
Symptoms of covid in animals
Dogs and cats suffering from covid are usually asymptomatic. Otherwise, symptoms may include fever, coughing, breathing difficulties, vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy. The risk of infection is extremely low and the symptoms usually disappear within a few days. However, if certain signs are present, it is best to contact your veterinarian for precise drug treatment. In the event of a positive test result, the animals should be placed in isolation until they recover.
Can pets transmit the virus?
The Istituto Superiore di Sanità has stated that there is no scientific evidence that pets can transmit the virus, only vice versa. Therefore dogs and cats are not dangerous for humans. Precisely because it is humans who transmit the virus to them, it is important to pay attention to a few rules for pet health in the event of a positive pet parent illness.
What to do when you are ill?
The pets most susceptible to contracting the virus are those in close contact with people. It is therefore recommended that the infected person and the rest of the household avoid outbreaks and respect basic hygiene measures in order to avoid risks. Among the rules to follow indicated by the ISS are:
- wash your hands before and after contact with the animal
- clean their paws after a walk
- limit contact and entrust the care to another family member if possible
- as an alternative, use a mask and gloves
The Istituto Superiore di Sanità, however, recognises the key role of the animal in the owner’s wellbeing. Spending time together, especially in times of high stress, contributes to the serenity of pets and owners. Therefore, in the absence of symptoms and in case of preventive quarantine, it is advisable to stay together with your pet even during the isolation period.
Pets are not carriers of the virus and cannot infect humans. However, as positive cases have been found among pets, care should be taken to prevent them from becoming ill.