Veterinarian: No reason to think pets can catch, spread coronavirus

Mar 2, 2020, 4:35 PM | Updated: 6:04 pm


Veterinarians and the CDC say there is no reason to think pet dogs and cats can catch or spread coronavirus. (Nicole Jennings/KIRO Radio)

(Nicole Jennings/KIRO Radio)

With medical experts saying coronavirus has likely been spreading around the Seattle area for several weeks, many are wondering: Could our pet dogs and cats be included?

Dr. Steve Weinrauch, the chief veterinary officer with Seattle-based pet insurance Trupanion, said animal lovers can rest assured — there is no reason to think Fluffy or Spot could catch coronavirus or spread the disease to you or other animals.

“There is no evidence to suggest that cats or other pets can contract or spread COVID-19 or the coronavirus,” Weinrauch said.

All of the confirmed coronavirus cases across Washington state

A dog in Hong Kong tested weak-positive for coronavirus after its owner came down with the illness.

“We don’t know what that means — this pet could be what we call a dead-end host, meaning that it can be an environmental contaminant or contagion that the pet carries in the mouth or nose that could never turn into an illness in the pet, nor could it be transmitted back to a human,” Weinrauch said.

The dog has been quarantined, and Weinrauch said it is very unlikely to spread.

There are no other pets worldwide known to have the disease.

Weinrauch suggested contacting your vet if you notice anything off with your pet’s behavior or health.

“If you have a family pet that shows any unusual signs for anything — it doesn’t matter if it’s an accident or an illness, if your pet coughs, sneezes, has diarrhea, or limps — any of those things, if you have a concern, you should reach out to your trusted family veterinarian and talk it through with them,” he said.

Trupanion is monitoring patterns of pets across the country that are being taken to animal hospitals and analyzing the data for any abnormal trends. So far, none have been noted.

In a press release, the Seattle Humane Society recommended having two weeks’ supply of each pet’s food, medication, and water on hand in the event that you are unable to leave the house.

The CDC’s website states there is no evidence that pets could spread the disease, though it does recommend avoiding close contact with pets if you become sick with the virus.

So, as long as you remain healthy, feel free to snuggle your four-legged companion to your heart’s content.

Local News

echo glen juvenile...

KTTH staff

7 juvenile Echo Glen inmates escape, 4 still on the loose

Seven juveniles escaped the Echo Glen Juvenile detention center early Sunday, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

17 hours ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Crew shortages force WA State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips

Crew shortages forced Washington State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips on one of the busiest travel days KIRO 7 has seen so far this year.

17 hours ago

OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT and creator of OpenAI gestures while speaking at Un...

Associated Press

ChatGPT maker downplays fears they could leave Europe over AI rules

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on Friday downplayed worries that the ChatGPT maker could exit the European Union

17 hours ago

Woman stabbed Central District...

Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News

Woman escapes through second-story window after man allegedly stabs her in Central District

A woman escaped through a second-story window after a man allegedly stabbed her on Saturday in the Central District.

2 days ago

Paraglider Poo Poo Point...

Michael Simeona

Paraglider rescued from tree near Issaquah’s Poo Poo Point

A paraglider was rescued Friday after crashing into a tree near Issaquah's Poo Poo Point. He suffered non-life threatening injuries.

2 days ago

Tacoma rents increase...

Lauren Donovan, KIRO 7 News

Tenants protest outside city hall as Tacoma rents increase four times faster than Seattle

Experts warn that the affordability gap is narrowing, with Tacoma rents increasing four times faster than those in Seattle.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Veterinarian: No reason to think pets can catch, spread coronavirus