Bear the Black lab

Bear the Black lab

Much remains to be learned about the Zika virus, but there is no evidence that pets are in any danger from or can help spread the mosquito-borne virus.

Ontario veterinarian Scott Weese wrote at the Worms & Germs Blog that Zika in pets hasn’t been subject to much research, but there haven’t been cases reported of dogs or cats becoming ill from

the virus. He also noted no evidence that the virus can use pets as a reservoir — infecting through a mosquito bite, replicating without making the pet sick, then being passed on to a human through another biting mosquito.

That’s not to say Zika exclusively affects humans. Primates can be infected, and some research suggests that rodents can harbor the virus, veterinarian Ernie Ward Jr. wrote on Petplan’s Fetch! blog. But he also said that the mosquitoes that carry Zika prefer to feed on people rather than most animals.

The best strategy to avoid Zika as it gradually spreads in the United States is to target the mosquitoes that carry the virus.