Update on the New Coronavirus and Pets

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be an evolving situation, and while there are now many different short-term studies, there is no complete certainty at this time with respect to how this new virus behaves. However, here is what is known today about the virus and pets. City Pets Vets® will continue to update this section as new information is learned.

  • It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations.
  • A small number of pets worldwide have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people who were already infected with COVID-19. This includes a small number of cats and dogs and even some zoo animals.
  • Based on the still-limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
  • There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets.

Therefore, the best advice with respect to pets and COVID-19 is as follows:

  • If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.
  • Because there is a small risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals, CDC recommends that pet owners limit their pet’s interaction outside the household with people outside and even with other pets.
  • Keep cats indoors and do not let them roam freely outside.
  • Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet away (2 meters) from people and other dogs.
  • Avoid public places where a large number of people or pets gather.
  • Do not put face coverings on pets. Covering a pet’s face could harm them.
  • Never wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use and first OK’d by your veterinarian.
  • If you feel your pet is ill, including with a respiratory condition, or if  you have any questions, call City Pets Vets®, (212) 581-7387 (581-PETS).

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