Can my dog or cat get COVID-19?
Here are some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and small companion animals like dogs and cats. We sourced and summarized the answers from reputable sources, but please always seek professional advice for your particular situation.
Q: CAN MY PET GET COVID-19?
A: There is evidence that pets have a low to moderate probability of becoming infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. There’s limited evidence that cats can spread the infection to other cats. Dogs have not been found to be able to transmit the virus to other dogs.
An extremely small number of animals (cats, dog, tigers) have tested positive for COVID-19 after close contact with a person infected with the virus. These pets had mild signs of upper respiratory tract infection (coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, watery eyes, lethargy). As of April 2020, no pets have gotten severe respiratory signs or died from COVID-19.
Q: CAN MY PET INFECT ME WITH COVID-19?
A: As of April 2020, there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 from a companion animal to humans. Of animals that tested positive, none of these infected humans.
Q: WHAT CAN I DO TO KEEP MY FAMILY AND MY PETS SAFE?
A: Socially distancing your pets from people and other animals in the same way you are socially distancing yourself will likely reduce your risk of bringing the virus into your household.
- Limiting your pet(s) contact with other people or animals outside your household.
- Keep your cats indoors to limit their exposure to other people or animals outside your household.
- Keep dogs on a leash when walking them and stay 6 ft (2 M) from other people and animals.
- Wash your hands after handling your animals.
Q: IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, WHAT SHOULD I DO FOR MY PET?
A: Limit contact with your pets. Try to arrange alternate care for your pet while you recover. Wash your hands frequently and avoid close contact.
Q: WHAT IF I AM SICK AND MY PET NEEDS TO GO TO A VET?
A: Get a friend or family member to bring your pet into the vet. Inform the vet staff so that they can take precautions and stay safe. Some vets are offering online consultations, so this may be a helpful option.
Q: WHAT ARE REPUTABLE SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19 AND ANIMALS?