Can cats and dogs get Covid – and what happens if they do? Symptoms to look out for in pets

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic – amplified by the arrival of Omicron – people have been concerned about their own health and that of their loved ones.

But it’s not just the impact of Covid on human health that worries many of us. Many animal lovers have wondered if their feline and canine companions can also contract the virus.

So can cats and dogs get Covid – and what does it mean for them if they do?

READ MORE: When do I need a PCR test? The reasons you may need a PCR test in England

Can cats and dogs get Covid?

According to the British government, animals can become infected with the corona virus – but this is very unusual.

Pets can, in rare cases, contract Covid from infected people. However, they often have only mild symptoms and are usually fully recovered after a few days.

In November last year it was confirmed that the coronavirus had been recognized at a pet dog in the UK.

The government advises Pet owners who have contracted Covid to limit contact with their animals and wash their hands thoroughly before and after contact with their pet.

According to the blue cross, your pet’s fur – like other surfaces – can be a carrier of the coronavirus, but there is no evidence that washing animals limits the spread of the virus.

While pets don’t really play a role in spreading Covid-19, it’s not uncommon for viruses to be transmitted from animals to humans. This phenomenon is known as zoonotic transmission.

In fact, this is how the pandemic is supposed to have started in the first place. Scientists have hypothesized that the virus was first transmitted to humans from bats or pangolins.

Symptoms of covid in pets

According to the PDSA very few pets that have had Covid symptoms and those that do have had very mild symptoms such as:

  • to cough
  • Sneeze
  • A runny nose
  • teary eyes
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • Mild breathing difficulties
  • High temperature
  • Reduced appetite

The PDSA advises pet owners to contact their veterinarian if an animal shows any of these symptoms, but keep in mind that these are common symptoms and are unlikely to be related to Covid-19.

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