When singer John Legend did the ad "This Shot Is Our Shot" to encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccine and then put his inoculation up online, he was thinking about all the heartache that could be prevented by protecting people from contracting the sometimes-fatal infection.
But we bet John and his wife Chrissy Teigen — who posted information about her shot on Facebook — didn't know what a huge benefit their inoculations would be to their bulldogs Pablo, Penny, and Pippa, and their poodle named Petey.
It turns out that when a pet owner gets COVID-19, 67% of housecats and 43% of dogs also become infected.
That's the conclusion of researchers from Canada's University of Guelph, who conducted a study of 48 cats and 54 dogs from 77 households in which an owner had been diagnosed with COVID-19. The paper, presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases 2021, reported that while most infected pets were asymptomatic, 20% of the dogs experienced lack of energy and loss of appetite, a cough, or diarrhea; 27% of cats ended up with a runny nose and difficulty breathing.
The researchers' advice: If you get COVID-19, stay away from your pet, and don't allow it to sleep with you.
And if you have COVID-19 in your house, keep your pet away from other people and pets. Once a cat or dog becomes infected, pet-to-pet and pet-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out.