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FAQ’s on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Pets

Coronavirus in pets

Pet owners may be concerned about the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and their pets. Below are a list of frequently asked questions that can help ease worry and ensure that your pet remains safe and clear up any confusion of coronavirus in dogs and cats.

Can I get Coronavirus (COVID-19) from pets?

  • There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received ANY reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.
  • Pets have other types of the corona-viruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Should pets obtain a test for COVID-19?

  • It is not currently recommended to receive COVID-19 tests for pets.

Can Animals carry the virus that causes COVID-19 on their skin or fur?

  • At this time, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread to people from the skin or fur of pets.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animal if I am sick with COVID-19?

  • You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have been no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus.  When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.  If you become sick, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.  If you must care for your pet, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

Are pets from a shelter safe to adopt?

  • There is no reason to think that any animals, including shelter pets, in the United States might be a source of COVID-19.

What about imported animals or animal products?

  • The CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) play distinct but complementary roles in regulating the importation of live animals and animal products into the United States.  CDC regulates animals and animal products that pose a threat to human life.  USDA regulates animals and animal products that pose a threat to agriculture; and FWS regulates importation of endangered species and wildlife that can harm the health and welfare of humans, the interests of agriculture, horticulture or forestry, and the welfare and survival of wildlife resources.

Can I travel to the United States with dogs or import dogs into the United States during the COVID-19 outbreak?

  • Please refer to the CDC’s requirements for bringing a dog to the United States. The current requirements for rabies vaccination apply to dogs imported from China, a high-risk country for rabies.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States (for example, by shelters, rescues, or as personal pets)?

  • Imported animals will need to meet CDC and USDA requirements for entering the United States. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19.  As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness.  If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian.  Be sure to let your veterinarian know that the animal was recently imported from another country.
  • This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

Information in this blog is purely for educational purposes only provided from the CDC.gov website. It should in no way intended to undermine the diagnosis, treatment or advice of a licensed veterinarian.

Renee Jones, CPDT-KSA, is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Jean Donaldson, to name a few. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She serves as a Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for Jeffers Pet and JeffersPet.com.