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Can Pets get Covid?

A new Covid variant is sweeping across the UK, but will this virus affect our beloved pets? Here is what we know so far.

A new Covid variant called EG.5.1 has emerged across the UK and according to the government’s Coronavirus Data website, between the 23rd of July and the 29th of July, there were 4,076 positive Covid cases in the UK.

The new strain, called Eris, was first classified as a variant in the UK on 31st July and is now the second most common variant after Arcturus.

Covid usually spreads from person to person, but that doesn’t mean animals can’t get it too.

In November 2021, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer confirmed that the virus had been detected in a pet dog in the UK. The infection was confirmed following tests carried out at the Animal and Plant Health Authority (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge in November. In a press release, the government website said “all available evidence” suggests the dog contracted Covid from a previous owner who tested positive for the virus but added: “There is no evidence that the animal was involved in transmitting the disease to its owner or that other pets or domestic animals were capable of transmitting the virus to humans.

In the press release, Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: “It is very rare for dogs to be infected and they will usually only show mild clinical signs and recover within a few days.”

Can My pet get covid?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states on its website that Covid can indeed be transmitted from humans to animals – through close contact. But he said the risk to everyone is low.

The CDC has advised pet owners to avoid doing the following:

  • Do not put masks on your pets, this could be harmful to them
  • Do not wipe or bathe your pets in chemical disinfectants.

Dogs can contract Covid but it is rare and the symptoms are much milder than what is seen in humans.

You should keep your dogs away from people who are infected and keep a high level of hygiene especially if you, yourself are infected with Covid.

What you need to know:

Protect your pet if you are sick

If you are infected by Covid (either suspected or confirmed by a test) you should avoid contact with your pets and other animals.

Contact includes:

  • Petting
  • Snuggling
  • Kissing
  • Licking
  • Sharing food
  • Sharing the same bed

Symptoms of Covid-19 in your pet

Pets infected with this virus may or may not become sick. Of the sick animals, most had only mild illness and fully recovered. Serious disease in pets is extremely rare.

Symptomatic pets usually have mild illness and can be cared for at home.

Pets infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 may have:

It is important to keep track of your pet’s symptoms during home isolation. If you think your pet has new symptoms or is getting worse, call your veterinarian.

Thanks for reading, until next time…