Honolulu (KHON2) –  What are the facts on Pets & COVID? We asked Internal Medicine Specialist and Medical Director Carrie White, DVM, DACVIM to weigh in.

As for whether pets can catch COVID from humans, she responds that “there is a risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals.”

To protect our pets, it’s recommended that we:

*   Keep cats indoors       

*   Walk dogs on a leash 6ft away from others       

*   Do not put masks on pets as they could be harmful

The opposite, she says is not true, that we can not contract COVID-19 from our pets . In Dr. White’s words, “As of this time, there is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur or hair of pets.”

What is the best way to bathe or clean my dog after a walk? “It is important to not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, hand sanitizer, counter-cleaning wipes, etc. It’s best to continue using products specifically for pets.”

It’s also advised to keep stress in check because “our stress can indeed affect our pets and cause anxiety and anxious behaviors. In dogs, these behaviors can be barking, urinating in the house, hiding and restlessness. It’s important to remain calm and patient with them as our pets respond best to calm, patient and confident attitudes.”

Pets can boost your mood, with health benefits including support, exercise to help decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, and of course companionship!