CDC: Social distancing should be maintained for family pets

CDC: Social distancing should be maintained for family pets

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Centers for Disease Control is enhancing its social distancing guidelines to include pets, saying cats, dogs and other animals need to be protected -- and protected from -- as well.

It does not appear humans can contract the disease from animals, but the CDC doesn’t want to chance have the virus spread to other animals.

There have been reports of animals testing positive for COVID-19. The latest is a pug named Winston in North Carolina.

If you suspect your family pet may be sick, your vet can find out if the dog or cat has COVID-19.

""We can test your pet," Ric Berlinski, DVM, told FOX19 NOW. “It is not the same test as we’re using for humans. So, no, we are not wasting human tests to test your pet.”

The CDC’s new guidelines say:

  • Do not let pets interact with people outside household
  • Keep cats indoors to prevent them from interacting with other animals and people
  • Walk your dog on a leash while maintaining social distancing
  • Avoid dog parks and place with a large number of people

”I can’t be emphatic enough about this," Berlinski said. “There is no evidence that humans can contract the virus from their pets.”

Belinski says there are several symptoms to be on the lookout for.

“Your family pet would be lethargic, in other words, not its usual energy level, kind of laying around, sleeping a lot.

"(They) would have a fever, right? So when we think about a fever in cats and dogs, the place we would check is those ears, right? So, the ears would be very warm to the touch.

"And then doesn’t want to eat, right? We all know our cats and dogs love to ear their dinner and their breakfast, right? So when your cat or dog doesn’t want to eat or drink, that’s a big sign.”

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