The following is a release from PIJAC USA to it’s members, it is still relevant to Australians.
Over the past five weeks, we’ve been keeping you up to date on the latest information on pets and the COVID-19 crisis. To date, there have been news reports about two dogs and two cats who had close contact with people infected with COVID-19 which subsequently tested positive for the virus. The public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been closely monitoring the situation.
Yesterday, CDC reached out to us with this updated information about COVID-19, humans and pets:
- At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 to people or that they might be a source of infection in the United States.
- To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.
- We are aware of a very small number of pets outside the United States reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19.
- Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.
- The US government is using a One Health approach including human and animal health and other relevant partners to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.
- Since other infectious diseases can spread between animals and people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals like washing your hands.
- For more information on the many benefits of pet ownership, as well as staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.
In addition, CDC advises if you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. This can help ensure both you and your animals stay healthy.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
For more information visit: What to Do if You are Sick.
We at PIJAC also continue to work with our health care and government agency partners to provide you with the latest information and resources about how to protect yourself, your customers, your associates and the animals you care for; mandatory closure orders as they pertain to pet care businesses; and other health and business continuity resources on our website at pijac.org/covid19.
You are a trusted source of information for your community, a partner in pet care. Please consider ways you can communicate accurate information about pets and COVID-19 to help combat confusion and concern.
We are so proud of everything the responsible pet care community is doing to protect human and animal health during this crisis, and encourage you to stay strong, stay safe and stay healthy.
2020 PIJAC Board Chair
PIJAC President and CEO