People may have questions regarding COVID-19 and family pets. Here is what we currently know regarding pets and COVID-19:

Ferrets:  Ferrets have been shown to be susceptible to COVID-19 infection. Studies have also shown that ferrets are able to transmit COVID-19 to each other.  To date, it appears that ferrets are either asymptomatic or have mild disease symptoms when infected with COVID-19. For more details on the latest information about ferrets and COVID-19, please read the October 8, 2021 Worms & Germs blog post written by Dr. Scott Weese. 

Birds: Birds are not susceptible to COVID-19 infection.

Rabbits: Rabbits appear to be at low risk for getting COVID. While some experiments have shown that some rabbits can become infected with COVID, they appear to have a low virus load and are largely asymptomatic.

Cats:  Like ferrets, cats are susceptible to COVID-19 from infected humans. Also like ferrets, cats can transmit COVID to each other. But it’s unclear if cats can infect humans and if they can, such infections are likely uncommon. Dr. Scott Weese provides a detailed review of what we know so far about cats and COVID in his September 15, 2021 Worms & Germs blog post.

Dogs:   There were reports in the earlier days of the pandemic that two dogs in Hong Kong (but members of two different and unrelated families) tested positive for COVID-19. Both cases were reportedly human-to-animal transmission. But it is important to note that in both cases the dogs did not display any signs of illness after being infected. There have been other reports of dogs becoming infected with mild illness after contracting COVID from infected humans, but the infection rate has been low. Dr. Scott Weese writes that the risk for dogs becoming infected with COVID is low in his September 24, 2021 Worms & Germs blog post.

If you fall ill with COVID-19, please limit contact with your pets as much as possible or have someone else care for your pets while you are in quarantine.