Scientist warns that you can pass Covid on to your pets

Dylan Bettencourt

A new study has found that a “substantial portion” of cats and dogs can catch Covid-19 from their owners – and pass it on to other pets.

Dr Els Broens of Utrecht University in the Netherlands said: “If you have Covid-19, you should avoid contact with your cat or dog, just as you would do with people.”

The scientists conducted a study which found that Covid-19 is common amongst domestic cats and dogs in cases where the owner has coronavirus. 

No pet-to-human transmission has been reported thus far, the doctor said: “Despite the rather high prevalence among pets from Covid-19 positive households in this study it seems unlikely that pets play a role in the pandemic.”

Broens said the possibility of passing the virus onto your pets is not a risk to public health, but it does pose a risk of the owner being reinfected by their pet. 

The doctor continued to say although there will be no concern for the animal’s health, the real risk is the pet may become a reservoir for the virus and potentially reintroduce the virus to their owner. 

Broens and his team conducted PCR tests amongst dogs and cats and produced the results of the tests. They tested 156 dogs and 154 cats from 196 different households. Only six cats and seven dogs tested positive on the PCR test, with 31 cats and 23 dogs testing positive for antibodies against Covid-19. 

Image source: @ScienceMag