Should we be worried about our pets?


Frank Jiang

The CDC’s informational website regarding COVID-19 and household pets. It includes all related COVID-19 animal cases internationally

Frank Jiang

With an increasing number of people adopting or fostering animals over the quarantine, some may be worried about possible virus transmission through their new household pets. Articles published by the Veterinary Centers of America (VCA) and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggest otherwise by saying that the transmission of COVID-19 through pets is highly unlikely.

AVMA suggests no chance despite tiger controversy

Although several cases of cats, dogs and a tiger infected with COVID-19 have popped up, there is no evidence to show that COVID-19 is transmissible from animals to humans according to the AVMA. As long as the pet owner is not infected with COVID-19, their pet is not a health risk, and they should not give up their pet or attempt to abandon it. Cases regarding animals getting COVID-19, like the tiger in the Bronx Zoo, usually occur because humans around them transmitted the virus to the animal.

Veterinarian gives opinion

Dr. Lisa Lomond, a veterinarian at VCA Miller Robertson Animal Hospital in West Hollywood, said that many household pets have little risk of transmitting COVID-19 to humans.

“I’m confident to say that dogs have almost no chance of transmitting COVID-19 to humans,” Lomond said. “Even though there have been a couple of cases of cats getting COVID-19 from humans, as long as you are not infected with COVID-19, you should be fine if you have a dog or a cat.”

According to the CDC, all pet owners infected with COVID-19 should make sure to keep their pet isolated. They recommends that all infected pet owners should limit contact with their pet and if possible, find another person to temporarily care for their pet.

Several animal shelters closed

Additionally, many of Los Angeles’s animal shelters have closed down entirely due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the “Safer At Home” order that Mayor Eric Garcetti ’88 has implemented. Despite the fact that several shelters are closed down, many shelters affiliated with the Los Angeles Animal Services still host online foster and adoption programs. Prospective foster and adoption families can visit LAAS online and choose an animal they want to foster or adopt. After online applications and paperwork have been submitted, foster and adoption families can schedule an appointment with LAAS to pick up their animals in-store.

Veterinarian Centers still open

For families worried about the health of their pet, present and future pet owners can still receive aid from a veterinarian, as veterinary centers are considered essential businesses and are still open. VCA does have several 24 hour centers open for any animal emergencies. Do not attempt to visit your usual veterinarian clinic or animal shelter in-person without an appointment, as many have begun implementing new precautionary measures to protect against COVID-19.