November 01, 2021

Are the furry ones next in line for a Covid shot?

Are the furry ones next in line for a Covid shot?
Dr. Chris Brown

With the human Covid vaccination roll-out almost at the booster stage, should we be saving a place in the queue for the hairiest family members?

It’s a fascinating answer…

Let’s get to the important stuff first here. Yes, dogs and cats (as well as ferrets and hamsters) can all catch Covid from their humans. In fact, given the close contact they have with us (especially when we’re sick in bed and they insist on giving us ALL the cold nose touches), their exposure to the virus isn’t that surprising. But importantly, they CANNOT and have NEVER given it to a person. It just doesn’t happen. How thoughtful and on-brand for their completely unselfish level of unconditional love.

So if they’re at risk, should they get a vaccination to protect them? After all, zoos in North America have vaccinated thousands of their wildlife species (like tigers, lions and gorillas) with an experimental vaccination made by the animal offshoot of Pfizer, Zoetis.

Well, the answer is…not right now. The important thing to note is that compared to bigger cats and large primates, our pet dogs and cats only suffer a very mild illness or have no signs whatsoever. So while in time, it may become part of their annual shots, the need just currently isn’t there. There’s just no urgency for them to join the queue. Which is probably for the best because let’s be real…that small, round band-aid just wouldn’t stick to their fur anyway...

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