Coronavirus (COVID-19)-Companion Animal Q&A

Dr. Wendy Zawoysky






Hi everyone, its Dr. Wendy. Let’s talk Coronavirus!

We are fielding an increasing number of calls from concerned clients about the human Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its relevance to companion animals. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract or spread COVID-19.  Here is a link to the specific section at the CDC site where animals are addressed: Below are my quick answers to your most common concerns based on our understanding of the disease at this time:

  • Can COVID-19 be contracted by my cat or dog? No
  • Can my cat or dog give COVID-19 to me or my family? No
  • If my animal is sneezing or coughing could they have COVID-19? No
  • If my animal has a fever could it be COVID-19? No
  • If my animal is sneezing, coughing, or has a fever should they be seen by a veterinarian? Yes, any animal that demonstrates these symptoms should be evaluated.
  • Should I continue to include pets and other animals in emergency preparedness, including keeping a two-week supply of food and medications on hand? Yes, this is always a good idea!
  • Should my sick animal be seen by veterinarian if I (the owner) currently have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath? Yes, but consider having a healthy family member bring the pet on your behalf or please let us know so we can make accommodations for our team and other clients in the building. This is always a good idea anytime you may be ill since it helps keep our staff healthy and able to serve our patients in need.
  • Will FVH notify clients in the event any facts surrounding COVID-19 and companion animals change? Yes, we will pass along any significant changes in recommendations as soon as we receive them. Any client that utilizes our PetDesk app or has their email on file will receive urgent updates. Or follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) where we will post any new information. 

Please help our team at FVH and our community as a whole to stay healthy.  Want to be proactive to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections? Check out the Whatcom County Health Department site. It has practical things you can be doing now, links to CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) sites if you want to take a deep dive into the subject.