COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – Our furry friends have been a source of comfort and normalcy for many of us in the middle of this pandemic.
But are they safe from coronavirus?
“To the best of our knowledge, we don’t think our pets can get it and at this point we certainly don’t think that it could be transmitted from the pet to human and vice versa,” said Dr. Wesley Keele, veterinarian.
As of right now, there is no evidence that your pets could contract the virus, but it is possible it could be in their fur. This means your pet could be a source of transmission from person to person.
Veterinarians recommend continuing to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing, even with your pets.
Also be sure to wipe down leashes, collars and toys before and after bringing your pets to the vet.
“I don’t think the virus sticks around very long on pet fur but we do have to worry about it sticking to other objects,” Dr. Keele said. “To my knowledge it stays around longer on metal, plastic, things like that.”
As long as you keep things clean, your pets are still safe with you in the house.
The USDA is providing some information on the topic after it was announced Sunday that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York tested positive for coronavirus. The tiger was infected by a zoo employee who was “asymptomatically infected with the virus” while caring for her, according to the zoo.
Dr. Keele says while right now it’s highly unlikely pets can get or spread the virus, pet owners still need to be extremely cautious.