A new study has shown that household pets may contract COVID-19, with cats being more susceptible than dogs to the virus. The research reveals that owners who become infected with the novel coronavirus and fall ill, may pass the pathogen on to their pets.
Fewer than 1% of dogs testing positive for COVID-19
Two separate studies were presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in which scientists analyzed blood serum from 239 pet cats and 510 dogs between April and June 2020. The animals were sometimes found sick from the infection, with 8% of cats and fewer than 1% of dogs testing positive for COVID-19.
According to these figures, the likelihood of pets becoming sick is low, said molecular biologist Hinh Ly from the University of Minnesota. Companion animals can be the source of a range of infectious diseases, so studying how prevalent the disease may be among cats and dogs will have a significant impact for both human and animal health, she said, as reported by Science Alert.
Whether you are concerned about passing on the virus to your pet, or simply need to go out of town, home boarding for dogs and cats via reliable platforms such as Holidog.com is the best option for your fluffy companions. Pets need love, attention, and creature comforts, and pet-loving host families around the country can provide that for them while you’re away or recovering from illness.
The advantages of employing a pet-sitter extend not only to you as owner—relieving the stress of special packing, special vaccinations, additional travel costs and worries, but also the health of your pet/s. Most pets prefer their own environment and may dislike the changes that holidays and new places bring; they may become stressed and withdrawn when away from their own home.
Pet-sitters can see to it that cuddles, play, and walks on regular routes are maintained. They can also ensure regular care and feeding routines, special needs, grooming, administering medication, and vet visits. Sitters can also be charged with household chores such as bringing in the mail, watering plants, turning lights on or off, and ensuring your house is secure. If you have an anxious pet, kennels are not recommended; the constant barks of other dogs may disturb them, for example. But most importantly, perhaps, you’ll eliminate the risk of your pets being exposed to contagious illnesses in boarding kennels.
The U.S.’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low and more studies are needed to understand if and how various animals could be affected by COVID-19. The DCD advises, however, that people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including pets, livestock, and wildlife.
Cats rarely exhibit any signs of illness
Biomedical researcher Angela Bosco-Lauth from Colorado State University told the New York Times that she was surprised that cats are so readily infected, as they rarely exhibit any signs of illness. Researchers were not able to determine why cats might be more susceptible to infection, reporting just that the ACE2 protein in cats is more like the human ACE2 protein than the dog equivalent, and this is what acts as a receptor for coronavirus.
Another study by researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, found that two out of three cats and two out of five dogs whose owners had COVID, had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, indicating they had been infected with the virus at some point. In terms of symptoms, 20% to 30% of the animals experienced loss of energy and appetite, coughing, diarrhoea, runny noses, and respiratory problems. The complications were mostly mild and short-term. Research shows that it is unlikely that animals can pass SARS-CoV-2 on to humans.