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COVID-19 does not affect your furbabies

Posted at 9:45 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 23:57:11-04

LAFAYETTE — Thursday, the state agriculture and forestry department said animal shelters are overcrowded with people dropping off their pets during the coronavirus pandemic. KATC spoke with Ryan Dhuet, a veterinarian at Lafayette Veterinary Care Center, about COVID-19.

"It's an unnecessary overreaction. Take a deep breath, calm down. Fido is not the reason that you're going to get COVID. Love your pets," Dhuet said.

Dhuet says there is no evidence COVID-19 has an effect on animals.

"As far we know now, there is no evidence that either dogs or cats can be affected by it, or any transmission from a dog or cat can happen to a human," he said.

Dhuet explained there is a strand of coronavirus dogs can get; however they are already vaccinated against it, and it is not COVID-19.

"Animal to human is not what we're concerned with, it's the human to human."

However, the CDC does believe the virus can cling to a dog's fur coat if they come into contact with someone who has the virus.

"It is not believed pets can be infected with COVID-19 nor is it believed they can spread the disease. However, pets may 'temporarily harbor the virus' on the coat or other areas of the pet’s body," the CDC said in a press release.

"Whenever we talk about that transmission, it can get on your clothes. So why would you get rid of a family pet? Are you going to throw out all of your clothes?" Dhuet says.

Giving the dog a bath will get rid of the virus particles, but Dhuet warns you should only use shampoo made for dogs or Dawn dish soap.

"Just make sure you use a dog specific shampoo. Human shampoo will dry out your dog's skin," Dhuet said.

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