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FDA Guidelines for Protecting Pets from COVID-19

Since the pandemic began, one question has been on every pet parent’s mind: “Can my pet catch COVID-19?”

“You’re doing all you can to keep your family safe during the coronavirus pandemic, but what about the furrier members of your household?” U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials said in a new pet safety video. “At this time, the risk of pets spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 in people is considered low, but it does appear that people can give the virus to animals with preliminary research showing that cats and ferrets are more likely to get the virus than dogs.”

Even though the risk of transmission between owners and their pets appears to be low, there’s still a lot scientists don’t yet know about the novel coronavirus. So, the agency recommends that people take similar precautions to protect their pets like other members of the family, including: 

• Don’t allow pets to interact with people or animals outside your own household.

• Keep cats indoors as much as possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or humans.

• Keep dogs leashed on walks and maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

• Avoid dog parks or other public places where large groups tend to gather.

At this time, the FDA does not recommend regular COVID-19 testing for pets, but if your pet gets sick or is exposed to a known case, you should talk to your veterinarian immediately.

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