Pets and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Cats, Dogs and COVID-19 _ What You Need to Know _ ASPCA Pet Health Insurance _scruffy dog under a green blanket on a maroon sofa

News of COVID-19, coronavirus is everywhere. You can hardly go an hour without someone mentioning it in conversation or seeing it on social media.

Many pet parents were alarmed earlier this month when health officials said a dog tested positive for the virus in Hong Kong. As an informed pet parent, you may be wondering, "can dogs catch coronavirus?"

Can Cats and Dogs Get Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

To answer that question, we enlisted our AVP of Veterinary Relations, Wendy Hauser, DVM.

"Currently, there is no concrete evidence that this disease can be transmitted to dogs and cats or other mammals. In fact, there is no test for COVID-19 in dogs or cats," she said.

Other experts agree. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) state that there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, spread COVID-19. According to the CDC, no animals in the U.S. have been identified with the virus.

Of course, according to Dr. Hauser, if your pet is exhibiting any symptoms that have you worried, she recommends having them examined by your veterinarian.

Does Pet Insurance Cover COVID-19?

According to our policy language, at this point, any treatment for COVID-19 coronavirus infections in dogs and cats would not be excluded due to the "pandemic exclusion" unless the U.S. Department of Agriculture declares a pandemic or epidemic. If that were to occur, we will communicate regularly to address the situation as it develops.

The well-recognized diseases of Canine Coronavirus, Feline Enteric Coronavirus, and Feline Infectious Peritonitis-FIP are not the same as COVID-19. The first two diseases are very mild and self-limiting, so it is unlikely that care would be necessary for infected dogs and cats. FIP is a more severe disease and often requires veterinary care.

pet insurance coverage and coronavirus _ gray tabby with golde eyes cat under a green and blue blanket

Signs Your Pet May Be Sick

It's sometimes difficult to know if your dog is ill. After all, they can't talk to let you know how they’re feeling. Cats, too, are masters at masking symptoms.

So, whatever the ailment, here are some general guidelines to help determine if a trip to the veterinarian is needed.

Dogs

Whether your pup is typically an energetic bundle of joy or a chilled-out senior dog, these signs could indicate there is something amiss.

Cats

Don't let your cat's cool demeanor fool you, our notoriously independent feline friends are well-versed in hiding (literally and figuratively) when they're not feeling well.

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