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No, your pet won’t give you COVID-19

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Veterinarians are saying wrong information on social media has lead to frightened owners thinking their pet might be able to give COVID-19 to them.

Can cats get the coronavirus?

Technically yes and no.

Here's why.

Veterinarians are all getting asked the same question, "Can my pet get COVID-19 and can they give it to me?"

"This coronavirus, which is COVID-19, likes only humans. So you cannot give it to your dog. You cannot give it to your cat. Your cat and dog cannot give it to you. It doesn't transfer across species," said Dr. Rachael Khun-Siegel at Prairie Animal Hospital.

There is however a cat corona, which is a different strain.

That's where, vets believe, the confusion is coming from.

"It's not the same as COVID-19. I think that's where it gets. We call it by it's last name, family name, of Corona and it's not the exact same virus. That's like saying Uncle Bob and Uncle Sam are the same people. They're not. They're just in the same family," said Dr. Khun-Siegel.

She said some of the misinformation on social media is causing some pet owners to give their pets away.

"A lot of my colleges have had a lot of dogs or cats get relinquished or given away because they were so scared of the dog or cat having corona or giving it to themselves," said Dr. Khun-Siegel.

Veterinarians said some of the information posted online looks real so always double check with a professional.

Alex Menke

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