(KION) Our fur babies are often considered part of the family like anyone else, and health officials are now advising that you take some extra steps to ensure their safety against COVID-19.
The CDC is now recommending people follow the same social distancing guidelines with their pets as they do with other humans.
"Limiting contact with them, refraining from kissing them or allowing them to lick you or lick your face, as well as avoiding sharing food… and of course hand hygiene is the most important thing," Dr. Christine Klippen, an Emergency Veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals tells CBS News.
The CDC is advising:
- Don't let pets interact with other people or animals outside the home
- Keep cats indoors
- Walk dogs on a leash and stay at least 6 feet from other people
- Avoid dog parks or public places
Only a handful of domestic pets, like Winston - a pug in North Carolina, have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Winston caught the virus after family members in the home contracted the virus. Winston is now part of a Duke University study.
"His symptoms were really very mild… it almost seemed like he was very gaggy and there was one day he didn't really want to eat his breakfast," Heather McLean, Winston's Owner tells CBS News.
Dr. Al Chan with Animal Hospital of Salinas tells KION he is recommending people to begin socially distancing with their pets like we have other people.
"If you are on a walk with a dog and you see another one coming, you maintain a good social distancing with the people as well as the animals," says Chan.
Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted from a pet to a human, but doctors suggest if you're ill to have a healthy family member care for your pet.