CDC extends coronavirus social-distancing guidelines to pets

Now even dogs have to roll over for the coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling pet owners that their furry family members need to follow the same social-distancing rules as everyone else during the COVID-19 pandemic — including keeping away from their other four-legged friends.

“Treat pets as you would other human family members — do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household,” the agency said in an advisory. “If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.”

The organization is also advising pet owners to avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

The advice comes after reports of animals becoming infected after having contact with a person with the virus.

Last week, two pet cats in New York tested positive for the coronavirus, in the first diagnoses of domestic animals on American soil. And on Monday, a North Carolina pug became the first dog in the country known to have tested positive for the virus.

The first known case of any animal coming down with the virus in the US was a 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo named Nadia, who is believed to have been infected by a zookeeper, it was reported earlier this month.

Seven more big cats at the zoo then also tested positive for the coronavirus, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced last week. All are now on the mend.

However, while there are some cases of human-to-animal transition, the CDC stressed there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans.

“The first infections were thought to be linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now primarily spreading from person to person … Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low,” the CDC said.


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