He said there was a report that Dutch workers on a mink farm transmitted the infection to the animals. And, Howe said, ferrets seem susceptible to the infection.
“There has been no evidence yet of people getting COVID from any domestic animal. Coronavirus is no reason to abandon your pets,” Howe said.
While it may be a relief to learn your pooch or feline probably can’t get you sick, there are still precautions you should take, particularly if you have a COVID-19 infection.
If you feel OK and take your dog out for a stroll, it’s important to practice social distancing guidelines, the CDC says. Keep your dog 6 feet from other people and animals. Try to keep your dog from interacting with other people or animals.
Howe said now is definitely not the time to walk your dog using a long, expandable leash. He and the CDC said dog parks are out for now, too.
The CDC says it’s ideal to keep cats indoors to prevent them from interacting with other people or animals.
What if someone pets your dog or cat?
Howe said pet hair tends to be porous and would likely trap virus particles. That means even if someone had virus particles on their hand when they touched your pet, you probably wouldn’t catch the virus by petting your animal, too.
Still, it’s a good idea to wipe the area with soap and water, or bathe your pet, if possible, Howe said. But never use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your pets, because they might lick it off, Howe said.
If you get sick with COVID-19, have another member of your household take over the pet care, if possible, the CDC says. Try to avoid contact with your pet as much as you can. This means no petting, snuggles, licks or sharing food or bedding with your furry pal while you’re sick.
“Just like you would with a child, try to have someone else take care of your pet, but if you have to, make sure you wear a mask around your pet,” Howe said.