In a household with a positive infected Corona individual, the infected human poses the greatest risk to others in the home. There is no evidence to support that the virus can be transmitted directly from pets to people. It is a very small risk and has not been proven, uninfected pets could track the virus out of the household on their coats. There are some simple steps to reduce exposure of pets and keep exposed pets away from others.
The goal is to keep exposed animals away from unexposed people. If you are sick, stay away from your animals just like you would other people. If you have COVID-19 and have been around your pets, keep the pets inside and away from other people (even others in your family that do not have the infection). If you are self-isolating, so is your dog, cat, or ferret. Do not let your cat outdoors keep them inside.
If possible, your dog should be walked by the infected person. They should be walked only in an enclosed space (e.g. Your yard but away from neighboring dogs) and only for the purposes of elimination. Walks for exercise are out until the person recovers and is no longer shedding virus (tests negative). If the infected person is too sick to do this, other household members should take out the dog isolated with the infected person. If someone in the household has recovered, they should walk the dog because they are likely to not get reinfected. If walking the dog around other persons keep a 6 foot distance.
If no recovered people are available, and the COVID infected person is too ill, you should nominate a household member to do the pet care. Keep the dog isolated with the sick person, not roam free through the house. The person responsible for letting the dog out should wear gloves (and not let the dog lick their hands/face). You do not need to wear disposable gloves. Dishwashing gloves are fine. Whoever takes the dog out should carefully wash the gloves and then wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after returning the dog to the isolation area. The risk of transmission from a dog leash is low. The dog is unlikely to have contaminated the leash, unless they are a leash chewer, it so just wash the leash. Dog bowls should be cleaned periodically with detergent and water.
Do not put a mask on your pet. Do not use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or bleach on your pet. Do not wipe your pet with counter cleaning wipes, use hand sanitizer or other cleaning products. Simple precautions will keep you and your pet safe.
If you have questions about pet care contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood at email@example.com To keep current on all recommendations on COVID-19 and your pet visit the www.cdc.gov website.