Since late 2019, the world is dealing with a global pandemic, Covid-19. Coronavirus is an infectious respiratory disease that has affected humankind for the last two years. Some cases show how the coronavirus also infected animals around the globe. In the United States, along with people, the virus has been documented to infect many companion or domestic animals.
Domestic pets like hamsters, cats, and ferrets are more prone to getting coronavirus than dogs. Infected pets may show mild symptoms like fever, coughing, runny nose, and lethargy. Some pets may also remain asymptomatic but still test positive for the virus.
The situation around the globe is gaining normalcy, thanks to the coronavirus vaccine and booster shots. There have been cases globally of zoo animals getting Covid vaccination, but there is no evidence of domestic pets getting shots against the virus, or a real need to do so.
Pet parents are worried thinking about how they can protect their pets against Covid-19 when there is no pet covid vaccine.
So, to debunk the myths related to the coronavirus and pet covid vaccine, below we have mentioned things for you to consider.
Covid-19 in Pets – Things to Do If Your Pet Tests Positive
Pets, including dogs and cats, have tested positive for Covid-19 in many countries worldwide. In New York, a German Shepherd tested positive for the coronavirus on June 02, 2021, which was the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the United States in a pet. Followed by that, other parts of the country, including North Carolina and Michigan, also reported cases of Covid-positive companion animals.
Covid-positive pets show different respiratory problems and gastrointestinal infections. You may also notice other common symptoms like ocular discharge, diarrhea, vomiting, and shortness of breath in your pets suffering from the coronavirus.
In the case that your pet tests positive for the virus, make sure to visit a veterinarian and seek professional advice if you are considering any type of animal vaccine or blood test to confirm your suspicions. After carefully examining your pet, a vet may prescribe you some medications and recommend a treatment for your pet to help them recover from the virus similar to a common cold.
You must keep track of your pet's condition and ensure that it remains at a distance from others if you are living with vulnerable people in your home. They should maintain a distance from kids and individuals above the age of 65. Depending upon the age and condition of your pet, your veterinarian may suggest you move your pet to a shelter home or another living space until they are feeling better and can fully be around kids or at-risk people in your home.
Taking proper precautions and keeping your pet away in quarantine are the perfect ways to curb the spread of the virus in your home. Pet parents must sanitize and clean their homes and spaces that their pets have access to regularly. Experts also advise that you should not let your pets lick you to help curb the transmission of the virus.
Can You Give Your Pet Covid?
Briefly, the answer is yes! In fact, in most cases, the pets got infected by the virus after coming in close contact with their Covid-positive owners. Positive pet parents unknowingly transmit the virus to their pets while petting, snuggling, sharing food, and cuddling them.
Though Covid-19 has not proven fatal for animals as they recover faster from the virus, it does not mean that infected parents should stay with and around their companion animals if they are sick. The best option for the pet parent who is infected is to try to quarantine themselves away from all family members, including pets until they are feeling better.
Can Your Pet Give You Covid?
The potential risk of animals spreading or transmitting the virus to humans is low and rare. So, the answer to the question, as of now, is no. The virus is believed to be born in animals and mostly affects and transmits from humans to humans.
Animals do not play a significant part in dispersing the novel virus that causes Covid-19. The primary cause of the transmission is the spread of the droplets produced from sneezing, coughing, and speaking, and not from pets shedding fur, skin, or hair.
Note that domesticated animals may contain certain germs and bacteria that can affect humans, but one should not confuse that with the coronavirus.
Is There A Pet Covid Vaccine And Should You Get One For Your Pet?
Considering the evidence of pets not transmitting the virus to humans, the Department of Agriculture of the United States (USDA is a governmental organization that grants commercial licenses for pet vaccines) has not approved a pet covid vaccine.
So, the answer to the above question is no, there is not a pet covid vaccine and there is no need for pet parents to consider administering a human vaccine to their pets.
USDA believes that Covid-positive pet animals do not cause any harm to humans and fellow animals and thus, do not require a vaccination against the virus. It also believes that a pet covid vaccine would not hold as much value as a human covid vaccine would. If you are a pet parent who is very concerned about your pet getting covid-19, the best thing you can do is to protect yourself and lower the risk of transmission to your pet.
Zoetis, an American animal health care company, formulated a Covid-19 for wildlife zoo animals to help curb the spread of the virus. It donated 11,000 animal covid vaccines to around 100 zoos to protect animals against the virus. Animals like mink and apes got Covid-19 vaccines in a zoo setting because they can potentially transmit the virus to other animals.
Coronavirus in domesticated pets is not as critical as in humans, which is one of the main reasons that reduce the significance of needing a pet sars cov-2 vaccine or any type of booster for animals. In most cases, animals make full recoveries without a veterinarian intervention or medication.
The very mild nature of the virus in pets and how quickly they recover from it are a few compelling reasons for USDA to not accept applications for a pet covid vaccine.
Covid-19 is not a potential threat to pet animals and their overall well-being, which is why there is no covid vaccine for pets.
So, as we wait for more research in this area, make sure you take good care of yourself and your pet to protect it against the Covid-19 disease by living a healthy lifestyle, enjoying a healthy diet, and keeping up to date with routine animal species vaccines and vet visits.
You can opt for a pet wellness plan to protect your pet against any virus as it helps take your pet to routine checkups and veterinary screenings. A pet wellness plan offers the ideal and affordable way to access your pet’s overall health. It helps you detect early signs of a fatal or chronic disease that may severely affect your pet.