Humans are not the only ones being asked to practice social distancing during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Susie Jones
April 29, 2020 - 12:03 pm

The CDC recently recommended social distancing for pets, after a dog in North Carolina tested positive for COVID 19. The dog's parents worked in the human health care field and likely infected the dog.

"We are still learning day by day if the virus can live on fur. And there's no evidence of that right now," said Twin Cities Veterinary Doctor Justine Lee.

Even so, she told WCCO's Dave Lee that if someone in your house has the virus, it's best to keep your animal inside the home to stop it from spreading in the event it can live on fur.

"Animals are really saving us during this quarantine," she said. "I know for me working from home, I love spending time with my dogs, and cats,"

She recommends people continue to do spend time with their animals, but advises against having any interaction with someone at the dog park.\

There is still a lot they don't know about the virus and how it affects animals, but Lee added it's not the animal spreading COVID 19, it's the person giving it to the pet.

In the case in North Carolina, she said the dog was not given a human test.

"What they are testing for is part of the virus. They test to see if the virus is alive, but they are testing the DNA," she said. "So there's the possibility that this dog may have been symptomatic, but again remember, these were high-risk exposure parents."

When the "Stay at Home" order is lifted, and people start going back to work it could be hard on your animals, who have gotten used to the company

"I'm going to recommend that you still walk them as often as you did when you were home," she said. "You do want to make sure you are crate training your dog and there are a lot of behavioral modifications you can make before you go back to work."

She said there is some good news that's come from the pandemic.

"A lot of the animal shelters are nearly empty because so many people are adopting or sheltering animals during the pandemic."

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