At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited data available, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by the virus and the role animals may play in the spread of COVID-19.
We are still learning about this virus, and it appears that in some rare situations, people can spread the virus to animals.
If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just as you would with people.
- 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, wash your hands before and after you interact with them and wear a cloth face covering.
Until we know more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other family members to prevent them from getting infected.
- Although we know certain bacteria and fungi can be carried on fur and hair, there is no evidence that viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets.
- Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
- Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
- Avoid dog parks or public places where large numbers of people and dogs gather.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other people or animals.
Because all animals can carry germs that can make people sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits 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.
- Visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website for more information on keeping animals and people safe and healthy.
At this time, routine testing of animals for this new coronavirus is not recommended.