Pets play a crucial role in the development of human feelings, social life, and care. However, in the era of the prevailing global pandemic of COVID-19 disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), many questions addressing the routes of the virus spread and transmission to humans are dramatically emerging. Although cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been found in pets including dogs, cats, and ferrets, to date there is no strong evidence for pet-to-human transmission or sustained pet-to-pet transmission of SARS-CoV-2. However, an increasing number of studies reporting detection of SARS-CoV-2 in farmed minks raises suspicion of potential viral transmission from these animals to humans. Furthermore, due to the high susceptibility of cats, ferrets, minks and hamsters to COVID-19 infection under natural and/or experimental conditions, these animals have been extensively explored as animal models to study the SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and transmission. In this review, we present the latest reports focusing on SARS-CoV-2 detection, isolation, and characterization in pets. Moreover, based on the current literature, we document studies aiming to broaden the knowledge about pathogenicity and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, and the development of viral therapeutics, drugs and vaccines. Lastly, considering the high rate of SARS-CoV-2 evolution and replication, we also suggest routes of protection against the virus.
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