According to the CDC, there is currently no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
Public health experts are still learning about the virus, but it appears it can spread from people to animals in some situations. The CDC is aware of a zoo tiger testing positive for COVID-19, as well as a small number of pets in the United States – mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
The CDC recommends pet parents protect their pets the same way they protect human family members:
- Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
- Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least six feet (two meters) from other people and animals.
- Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
- Restrict contact with pets and other animals if you're sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test).
- Have another member of the household care for your pet if you’re sick and avoid contact with pets (petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food or bedding).
- Wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after interacting with your pet, if you must care for it while sick.
The CDC does not recommend routine testing for animals, and under no circumstances should pet parents take measures that may compromise their pets’ welfare.
If you're sick with COVID-19 and your pet also becomes sick, call your veterinarian. If your pet tests positive for COVID-19, keep the pet in isolation in the home (away from everyone else, including other pets) until a veterinarian or public health official determines they can be around other pets and people. Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products, such as hand sanitizer, counter-cleaning wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners.
Since animals can spread other diseases to people, the CDC always recommends washing your hands after being around animals. For more information, read the CDC's FAQ on COVID-19 and animals. You can also learn more about staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, by visiting the CDC's Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.