Coronavirus Updates for Pet Owners

Read our advice for pet owners with relation to Covid-19.

Can I infect my pets with Covid-19 (and vice versa)?

While the details of Covid-19 are still widely unknown, evidence seems to suggest that pet-to-human transmission is highly unlikely. However, cases of human-to-pet infections have been reported for other diseases. 

The evidence: low risk of trans-species transmission

Despite how Covid-19 originated (mutating from wild species to humans), it is highly unlikely that you can catch the virus from your pet animals. Reports claim that at least two dogs in Hong Kong have tested positive, but only exhibited “low levels” of infection. While it is presumed that the pets caught it from their owners, scientists remain highly sceptical. Due to the low numbers displayed, evidence suggests that the novel coronavirus in pets is also an extremely rare occurrence. 

The nature of the virus means that species-to-species transmission is far more rampant than trans-species infection. But the question remains, “can my pets infect me with coronavirus”? While there is still so much unknown, the World Health Organisation has released a statement saying that currently there is no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats have infected humans with Covid-19.

Man With Pet Dog

Coronavirus in cats and dogs

While previously known coronaviruses are common in domestic animals, there are presently no definitively confirmed cases of the new Covid-19 strain in domestic cats. There are, however, at least two cases of the infection in dogs. Both are reported to have caught it from their owners but showed no signs of illness (testing ‘weak positive’). This suggests that canines may be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Both dogs in question were placed in quarantine but have since been released. However, this should not encourage us to become complacent when it comes to possible pet infections. 

How to protect your pets from Covid-19 – safety measures

While there is still so much unknown, there are certain measures that can be put in place to prevent general illness in pets. A lot of the same principles used to prevent human infection, can be applied to your four-legged friends. These include;

  • Avoiding mouth contact 
  • Maintaining good general health and hygiene (for you and your pet)

How our pet insurance products can help

In addition to following these safety measures, it can be a good idea to invest in pet insurance. Most providers do not exclude specific viruses, so should cover any costs associated with potential Covid-19 infections - but bear in mind hat pre-existing conditions are not covered. Pet insurance with Towergate through our sister company, Healthy Pets, pays for vet fees up to £7,500 per year and has a choice of 6 different tiers of cover.

Information in this article was correct on 30/03/2020.

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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