The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended pet owners to encourage social distancing practices for their companion animals, too.
In their issued fact sheet dated April 30, FDA has indicated that pets should not interact with humans or other animals outside their immediate household. Cats should always be kept indoors, while dogs must be on a leash at all times that can maintain at least six feet distance from other humans and animals.
Pet owners are also recommended to avoid dog parks or any other places “where a large number of people and dogs gather.”
“Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of pets spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 in people is considered to be low,” FDA said in a statement. “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Bruce Kornreich, Cornell Feline Health Center director, told Business Insider that the call to keep animals at home and avoid interacting with others is to keep them from getting sick or infecting other felines.
“The most important thing to understand is that this virus is primarily human-spread,” he said. “Cats are susceptible and generally all cats have recovered.”
There are no calls for testing pets for the virus, but if you think your companion animals are showing any symptoms, Kornreich recommends visiting your veterinarian, who should be informed whether anyone in the household has the disease or if there was any chance the pet may have been exposed.
“Avoid direct contact with pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sleeping in the same location, and sharing food or bedding,” recommended the Centers for Disease Control.
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