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Covid-19 and Pets

Key Points

  • We do not know the exact source of the current outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but we know that it originally came from an animal source.

  • 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 information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.

  • We are still learning about this virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.


We are seeing where some animal are testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. The most recent positives were 2 cats from different households in New York. The cats had very mild respiratory symptoms and were negative on tests for other illnesses. The cats were from positive COVID-19 households. Public health officials are still learning about SARS-CoV-2, but there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States.

Testing is available for cats, at the moment they aren't seeing dogs that are symptomatic. The criteria for having your cat tested is they have to: -Be from a positive COVID-19 household -Be symptomatic -Test negative for other illnesses first Until we know more, CDC recommends the following: -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 6 feet from other people and animals. -Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather. -If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other 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, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.


If you have any questions or concerns please give us a call at 804-642-5740 to discuss further.

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