A small number of cats and dogs have been infected with COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
Based on the limited information available, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations.
Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.
Infected pets might get sick or they might not have any symptoms. Of the pets that have gotten sick, most only had mild illness and fully recovered.
To keep your pet safe, follow these guidelines:
- Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.
- Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others.
- Avoid public places where a large number of people gather.
- Do not put a mask on pets. Masks could harm your pet.
- There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets. Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use.
- If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), you should restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with people. Until we know more about this virus, people sick with COVID-19 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, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
If you are sick with COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care.
For more information, visit the CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website at www.cdc.gov/healthypets.