Woman cuddles her dog
Dabl At Home Dec 2020
Presented By
Dabl at Home

New Research Suggests Pets Can Contract COVID-19!

Here’s why you may need to practice social distancing from your pets if you are diagnosed with COVID-19.

As pet parents, we want to share our love and happiness with our pets, but no one wants to share harmful germs. Recent studies have found that 1 in 5 pets who are exposed to COVID-19 by their owners could catch the virus themselves. This was determined by testing 156 dogs and 154 cats who lived in households with owners who had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Approximately 17% of the pets had antibodies for the coronavirus in their blood, which suggests the pets had been accidentally infected by their owners. With the recent news of the new Delta variant spreading like wildfire, pet owners may need to continue taking additional measures to keep their dogs and cats safe from the virus. 

While transmission from people to their pets now seems plausible, pets are thankfully not currently capable of spreading the virus back to people and don’t seem to be contagious to other animals in the household. What’s also lucky is that pets do not seem to become as ill as people from the virus, but they need to be protected as we don’t know how new mutations or strains of coronavirus will behave. While most pets only seem to have mild symptoms and can recover at home, they can suffer from the same COVID-19 symptoms as people. You may want to consult with your vet if you notice your pet has developed a lasting fever, severe cough, or difficulty breathing. 

For now, people only seem to be able to transmit the virus to their pets when there is extremely close contact between the person and the animal, such as when sharing a bed with your fur baby overnight. Although nearly 71% of American pet owners sleep with their pets each night, it may be best to get your dog or cat a bed of their own for health and safety reasons, at least for the foreseeable future. Although it will take some adjustment for you and your fur baby to get used to the change, you might find that you actually prefer having separate beds. If you’re not convinced, consider some of these benefits of giving your pet his own place to rest. 

-If your pet has a designated bed or crate to sleep at night, it will become his safe space or den. Your pet will always have somewhere comfortable to be when he needs a place to rest or a safe place to retreat if something scares him. 

-You will enjoy having more space on the bed, especially if you also share your bed with a spouse. Even the smallest pets seem to have a special talent for taking up an exorbitant amount of space on the bed, leaving you and/or your partner uncomfortably crammed in a corner or scrunched up in weird positions. 

-Keeping your beds separate may improve your allergies. Pet dander is a common allergen, and your fur baby may unknowingly track in other allergens on his feet or coat. Keeping these allergens off your bed and pillow will help you be less congested at night and feel better during the daytime. 

-If your pet wakes you up throughout the night, let this article be your sign that you don’t have to just deal with it. Maybe your pet wakes you up as she repositions several times throughout the night, or he tries to cuddle with you in positions that make you too hot or aren’t comfortable. Alternatively, even the smallest pets can snore so loudly you’d think a grizzly bear was in your bed! Now you can justify removing your pet’s bed privileges for his own safety, and may find you both sleep better at night! 

-Speaking of safety, snoozing with a small pet, puppy, or kitten could become dangerous if you accidentally roll onto your fur baby or he falls off the bed. Senior pets that suffer from Alzheimer's Disease or dementia may become confused during the night, causing them to injure themselves when they fall or jump off the bed during the night. Therefore, the safest place for your treasured pet is really in a cozy crate or bed on the floor. 

Get more great inspiration, ideas, and pet parent tips on Dabl! Check our Dabl TV schedule and find out where to watch Dabl TV.