Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and Pets
1. Can my pet get COVID-19?
There is no clear answer as to whether COVID-19 can infect pets at this time. That said, infectious disease experts say there is also no current evidence that pets can get sick from this virus or to suggest that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection for COVID-19—including spreading this virus to humans. We will keep you updated if anything new comes about.
2. Can someone transfer the virus to my pet by petting him/her?
This virus appears to be primarily transmitted by contact with an infected person’s saliva or droplets from coughing/sneezing. But COVID-19 may be able to be transmitted via touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your face. This appears to be a secondary route and not the primary way this virus is being spread. Your pets’ fur is also very fibrous and porous which are two conditions which decrease the chances this virus is spread by contact with their fur.
To be on the safe side, in keeping with social distancing, do not permit people who you are not quarantined with to touch or interact with your pet.
Overall, practice healthy hygiene techniques-wash your hand before and after interactions with animals and regularly wash your pets bedding, water/food dishes, etc.
3. How can I prepare for my pet if I become sick?
It’s good to have a game plan for your pet if you become sick and need to be strictly quarantined. Identify another person in your household who is willing and able to care for your pet in your house. Also, make sure to have an emergency kit prepared for your pet that includes at least two weeks of your pet’s food, medications or any products your pet may need. It is also important to have someone identified who could bring your pet to the veterinarian if they ever become sick or ill and you cannot leave your house.
4. What precautions should I take with my pet if I am immunocompromised or sick?
Out of an abundance of caution it is recommended that pet owners who are sick or immunocompromised take a “common-sense approach” when interacting with their pets. Washing your hands after petting or interacting with them, not allowing them to lick your face, etc. This is beneficial for proper hygiene in general.
Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals (any animals) until more information is known about the virus. This is when having a plan for someone else in your household to care for your pet will be very important.
5. Can I clean my pet with Lysol or Clorox wipes?
This has been a very common question from pet owners, and while we do understand that you are concerned about both your family and your pet’s health, this is not a good idea! We do not recommend using Clorox or Lysol products/wipes to clean your pet. Bathe them as you normally would, take precautions by washing your hands after interacting with your pet, and practice “social distancing” by not allowing strangers or others outside of your household to pet your dog/cat.