What to do if you own pets?
Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from possible infection.
- Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
- Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals.
- Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
A small number of animals around the world reported having been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after contact with a person with COVID-19. Speak to your veterinarian if your pet is getting ill or if you have any questions about the health of your pet.
Protect pets if you are sick
If you are ill with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), you will avoid contact with your pets and other animals, just as you would with humans. Until we know more about this virus, people with COVID-19 disease should avoid contact with pets and other animals.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
- Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
If you’re infected with COVID-19 and your pet gets ill, don’t take your pet to the veterinary clinic. Call your doctor to let them know that you were sick with COVID-19. Some veterinarians can give telemedicine appointments or other plans to see sick pets. Your veterinarian will examine your pet and assess the next steps for the treatment and care of your pet.
Stay healthy around animals
There is no proof in the United States that animals play a major role in the spread of COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to humans is considered below. However, since all animals can bring germs that can make people ill, it is also a good idea to maintain safe behaviors around pets and other animals.
- Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.
- Practice good pet hygiene and clean up after pets properly.
- Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health.
- Be aware that children 5 years of age and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and people 65 years of age and older are more likely to get sick from germs some animals can carry.