SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Many of you have been relying on a four-legged friend to get through some of the boredom and isolation of quarantine. You may have even adopted a new dog or cat during the pandemic.
Doctor Jonathan Webber is a veterinarian at Savannah Animal Care. He says he thinks the number of pets that have tested positive for the virus remains so low because of a lack of testing and because it’s pretty unlikely for your pet to contract the Coronavirus.
“The CDC and USDA and AVMA are not really recommending that pets be tested for COVID-19 at this time, just because the risk is so minimal," Dr. Webber said. "If you were to test them in the United States, the decision has to be made between the veterinarian and then it has to go to the state veterinary and federal public health officials to do testing.”
Based on the research scientists have done so far, pets can get Coronavirus from humans, but they can't spread it to humans. The disease also can't be spread between pets.
Despite this, the CDC and veterinarians want you to take some of the same precautions for your animals that you’re taking for yourself. That includes washing your hands often and practicing good hygiene.
However, it doesn’t mean you should change up your pet’s hygiene routine.
“I don’t really think it’s necessary to do too many baths," says Dr. Webber. "Too many baths can dry out their skin and you’ll run into other problems.”
You'll also want to be mindful of where you're taking your dog to get out and play.
"We just want to make sure we're social distancing from other people. It protects not only us but also our animals."
And keep an eye out for any potential symptoms in your pet.
“We’re still learning more about the virus, but you know mild respiratory signs is what they’ve noticed in other sick animals, so you know if your animals are sneezing or coughing or have other upper respiratory signs you should definitely go see your veterinarian,” he says.
Doctor Webber says Savannah Animal Care is operating through curbside service. They’ll meet you outside to pick up your pet. Then, a veterinarian will call you from inside the office so that you can do the consultation remotely.