Dutch study suggests that it is common for pets to contract COVID-19 from positive owners.

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To date, no transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from pets to humans has been reported. However, a study suggests that it is common for pets to contract COVID!) From positive owners.

In a recent article in the Veterinary Journal, which we reproduce here, along with the link below, it seems to be a common situation in dogs and cats whose owners have or have had the virus.

Although no pet-to-human transmission has been reported to date, “it seems unlikely that pets will play a relevant role in the pandemic.”

Cases of owners transmitting the disease to their dog or cat have been previously documented, but are considered to have negligible risk to public health.

Researchers at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, studied dogs and cats of people who tested positive for COVID-19. A veterinary clinic visited the homes of owners who had tested positive in the past 2 to 200 days and rectal and oropharyngeal swabs and blood samples were taken from their cats and dogs.

The swabs were used in PCR tests, which provide evidence of current infection, and the blood samples were tested for antibodies, which provide evidence of past infection.

In total, 156 dogs and 154 cats from 196 households were analyzed. Six cats and seven dogs (4.2%) had positive PCR tests and 31 cats and 23 dogs (17.4%) were antibody positive.

Eleven of the 13 owners whose pets had positive PCR tests agreed to undergo a second round of testing. “All 11 animals tested positive for antibodies, confirming that they had had COVID-19,” the authors indicate. Three cats still had positive PCR tests and were tested a third time. Finally, all PCR positive animals cleared the infection and became PCR negative.


Eight cats and dogs that lived in the same households as the PCR-positive pets were also retested in this second stage to verify transmission of the virus between pets. None tested positive, suggesting that the virus is not spread between pets that live in close contact with each other.


With 20.4% of dogs and cats having antibodies against the virus, the study reveals that “COVID-19 is highly prevalent in pets of people who have had the disease,” the study authors explain.

The researchers note that “If you have COVID-19, you should avoid contact with cats or dogs, just as you would with other people. However, the main concern is not the health of the animals (they did not have symptoms of COVID-19 or they were mild), but the potential risk that pets act as reservoirs of the virus and reintroduce it into the human population ”.

However, “to date no pet-to-human transmission has been reported. Therefore, despite the fairly high prevalence among COVID-19 positive household pets in this study, it seems unlikely that pets will play a relevant role in the pandemic. “

Source: Veterinary Journal

Fuente: Diario Veterinario

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