The Coronavirus and your Dog or Cat

Hello everyone, Dr. Bone here. I wanted to take some time today to put out a blog regarding the current situation going on in the world with Coronavirus. If you aren’t familiar with what is going on, a novel/new coronavirus called COVID-19 is making its way across the globe causing a respiratory illness in people. Naturally, when something like this happens, we get concerns for our families, friends, and pets. I wanted to update everyone with what is going on and what we no currently.

First things first; as of today COVID-19 does not appear to be able to cause disease in dogs or cats. As of this morning, a dog did test positive for the virus through nasal and oral swabs but that dog is not sick. We don’t currently know what that means: is it a contaminant? Is it a wrong test result? Only time will tell.

If you google coronavirus in pets, you will find a lot of information. There are many types of coronavirus that exist. In dogs, we see mild gastrointestinal signs in dogs infected with cornoavirus. In cats, we typically don’t see symptoms at all unless the virus mutates. This mutation leads to a nasty disease called Feline Infectious Peritonitis. There are vaccines available for our pets for Coronavirus but these are NOT protective against the new strain that is infecting people.

When it comes to our pets and COVID-19, we have received some recommendations from WSAVA. That article can be found here:

It is basic common sense at this point. If you are sick with COVID-19, it is best not to be around your pets. If a pet that has been around someone infected with COVID-19, call your vet…don’t just take your pet in. That could expose the vet clinic and other people to the virus potentially. And finally, if you are in an area where the virus is active, don’t go to crowded areas with your pets and limit contact/time outside.

If you are preparing food/water for your family and want to do the same for your pets, I have some easy guidelines you can follow:

Food: Rough rule of thumb is that a dog or cat will eat ½ of their body weight in pounds per month. So, a 50 pound dog will eat 25 pounds of food a month. We recommend having 3 months of food on hand at a minimum.

Water: 1 ounce per pound per day is a good starting point

Litter: Based on each cat household but probably better to have more than you might need, it won’t go bad.

I will try to update this blog as new information arises. If you would like more information, please head over to our podcast at which goes into more information on the above topics.

Thanks for reading and stay safe!