Social Distancing for pets now recommended

In most neighborhoods in Long Beach, regardless of the time of day or the day of the week, we see pet owners walking, shopping and before Safer at Home even dining with their pets.

This week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning to pet owners to now practice social distancing with their pets. The new guidelines were issued after evidence of a small number of animals contracting COVID 19 from humans.

The updated CDC website advice on pets includes:

Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.

The CDC makes these recommendations to keep pets and their owners safe:

·       Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.

·       Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.

·       Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals.

·       Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

The CDC also advises that if a pet becomes ill after contact with a person with COVID 19 to contact your veterinarian  by telephone. The CDC advises:

If your pet gets sick after contact with a person with COVID-19, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know the pet was around a person with COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care.

The new CDC  guidelines come after reports of  a dog in South Carolina, and two domestic cats in New York being infected with the COVID 19 virus . The domestic animals illness followed a report that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo contracted COVID 19 in early April. The Bronx Zoo now has a total of five tigers and three lions with COVID 19.  All the animals are believed to have come in contact with a human COVID 19 carrier.

The CDC webpage  Daily Life: If You Have Animals includes a link to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH). The WOAH site information on animals and the SARS-CoV-2 ( the scientific name for COVID 19) includes information on cases of the known infections of  the dog, cats and Bronx Zoo animals.

The WOAH has been conducting SARS-CoV-2 (COVID 19) animal studies and reports:

Studies are underway to better understand the susceptibility of different animal species to SARS-CoV-2 and to assess infection dynamics in susceptible animal species. To date, preliminary findings from studies suggest that poultry and pigs are not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The CDC  states that the in the United States there is “no evidence” that animals are spreading the COVID 19 virus/ However  the CDC reminds us that it is always “a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals.”

Links for more information

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