For Pet Parents

The United States Department of Agriculture confirmed two pet cats in New York tested positive for COVID-19.
These are the first pets in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2.

The first case of an animal testing positive for COVID-19 in the US was a tiger with a respiratory illness at a zoo.
Public health officials believe multiple large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding.

Dog and cat COVID-19

Can pets get the new coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware of a very small number of pets, including dogs and cats, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19. Two reports of cats becoming mildly sick with COVID-19 in the United States have been reported as of April 22. There is no evidence that pets can spread the virus to people.

The first case of an animal testing positive for COVID-19 in the United States was a tiger with a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City. Public health officials believe this tiger along with six other large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding virus. Authorities are constantly learning about the new coronavirus, but it appears it can spread from people to animals in some situations.

A pug in North Carolina has tested positive for the coronavirus, which may be the the first such case for a dog in the US. The dog, Winston, was part of a Duke University study in which a whole family in Chapel Hill, the McCleans, were tested for the virus. The mother, father, son, and pug tested positive, while the daughter, another dog and a cat tested negative, according to NBC affiliate WRAL in Raleigh.


Can pets transmit the virus between people?

At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread the COVID-19 infection to people.

It is possible that a person with COVID-19 can contaminate their pet (through sneezing or otherwise), and then another individual could touch that animal and contract the disease. Veterinary experts believe the risk for transmission would be low. However, animals living with sick individuals should be kept away from other people and animals (quarantined at home), just as people who live with sick individuals must avoid contact with others.

Hugging pet coronavirus
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FDA COVID-19 Pet Safety Guidelines

What You Should Do

Pet with kids coronavirus

Your pet is at minimal risk of COVID-19 infection therefore there are no specific steps recommended at the moment to protect pets.

Dog with mask COVID-19

No. Your pet should not wear a face mask.

Face masks may not protect your pet from disease transmission and may cause other breathing difficulties.

Coronavirus taking dog for a walk with mask

Should I wear a face mask by my pet?

Wearing a surgical mask will not prevent anyone (human or animal) from being exposed to the virus. A mask should be used to prevent someone that is potentially infectious from spreading the virus to others via droplets through coughing, sneezing, or talking.

COVID-19 virus pets

If I am diagnosed with Covid-19, how do I protect my pet?

Being at minimal risk of COVID-19 infection, there are no specific steps needed to protect your pet even if you are infected.
However, pets can have the virus ON THEM if they are in an environment with a large quantity of the virus and could serve to be a source of the virus for other people, including family members. Therefore, to protect other people and yourself, the CDC recommends that you restrict contact with pets if you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would restrict your contact with other people. Avoid snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must interact with your pet, wash your hands before and after, and wear a face mask.

5 Things Pet Owners Need To Know About The Coronavirus

What You Should Know

There is no indication that the dog was sick or showing any symptoms. This canine patient was in close contact with an infected human, who was likely shedding large quantities of the virus. This led to the virus being in the dog’s nose.
In short, there was coronavirus on the dog just like there was coronavirus on the floor in the room but the dog was not infected or diseased. A spokesman for Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said that a pet dog had been tested "weak positive" for the COVID-19 virus, but also noted that AFCD "does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with coronavirus or be a source of infection to people."
There is no vaccine for COVID-19 for people or animals at this time.
Veterinarians are familiar with other coronaviruses. Similar but different coronavirus species cause several common diseases in domestic animals. Many dogs, for example, are vaccinated for another species of coronavirus (Canine Coronavirus) as puppies. However, this vaccine does not cross protect for COVID-19.
Yes.
There are Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories that have the equipment to test for the new COVID-19 in pets. IDEXX announced on March 13, 2020 that they are equipped to manage testing.
If you are sick with COVID-19, you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
Although there have not been 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 virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask.
Current research suggests that horseshoe bats are the reservoir species and the virus originated from that species as well.
Previous human coronavirus outbreaks, SARS and MERS, originated in bats but passed through other species, such as the palm civet and camels.