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March 18, 2020

pets and coronavirus

Pets and the Coronavirus

There’s been lots of confusing information surrounding pets and the coronavirus.

In order to clear up some of the misunderstandings, Petsy has consulted with their in-house vet team at Petsure to help with some commonly asked questions.

Can dogs or cats get sick or spread COVID-19?

“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no current evidence that dogs and cats can become sick from COVID-19. This means there is no evidence to suggest we should be concerned about our pets catching or spreading Coronavirus, and most importantly, there is no reason for pet owners to be giving away their pets out of fear of this. We need to look after our pets health as normal and stay calm as they are likely picking up on the anxiety felt by their human owners at a time like this,” said Monica Limanto, CEO and co-founder of Petsy.

What is COVID-19 and can it infect pets?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the recently identified coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 was unknown before the recent outbreak identified late last year.

Currently, there is no evidence suggesting that dogs and cats can be a source of infection for COVID-19, or that they can become sick from the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 is currently spreading through human to human transmission.  However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This helps protect against various common bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, that can pass between pets and humans.

There is a single dog in Hong Kong which tested a weak positive to the COVID-19 virus, however, it is still being investigated whether this positive test result was due to environmental contamination or if the dog was truly infected. It is important to note the dog was not showing any signs of disease.  This is an evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available from the relevant human health and veterinary bodies.


Do dogs and cats suffer illness from any coronaviruses?

Feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIP) and canine coronavirus (CCV) are two coronaviruses which have been unfortunately present and causing disease in dog and cat populations for a long time. It is important to note that FIP and CCV are distinctly different and separate to the COVID-19 virus causing the current disease outbreak with humans. CCV generally causes mild gastroenteritis in dogs, and FIP is a progressive and invariably fatal systemic disease of domestic cats. Both cannot cause illness in people.


Do petinsurance.com.au policies provide cover for COVID-19 or other coronaviruses?

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and canine coronavirus (CCV) are assessed as Illness conditions under petinsurance.com.au policies and are generally eligible for cover under Illness subject to the policy terms, and provided the condition is not a pre-existing condition.

It is important to remember, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and veterinary bodies have advised currently there is no evidence dogs and cats can become sick from COVID-19. If there are any developments in relation to COVID 19 impacting dogs and cats, we will do our best to keep our customers informed.

Rest assured if your pet is currently displaying symptoms of coughing, respiratory issues or a fever/elevated temperature, you should seek veterinary advice, and know this is generally coverable under your policy depending on your selected cover and relevant terms and conditions.