Can my pet catch COVID-19?
When talking about a virus, the words "get" or "catch" are vague. A more precise question is: Can my cat or dog become infected with SARS-CoV-2?
The answer is yes.
There is evidence from real-world cases as well as laboratory experiments that both cats and dogs can become infected with the coronavirus.
Can I get the coronavirus from my pet?
While we can't say it would be impossible to catch the coronavirus from a cat or dog, the research suggests this is extremely unlikely. There are currently no reported cases of people catching the coronavirus from animals.
The World Health Organization says that "based on current evidence, human to human transmission remains the main driver" of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that "further evidence is needed to understand if animals and pets can spread the disease."
Should I keep my cat inside or change my dog's behavior?
Although the chances of your pet catching the coronavirus from another animal are low, if you take your dog or cat outside, have your pets follow the same rules as everyone else – keep them away from other people and animals.
If a dog approaches you, there is no need to be scared of getting sick from virus on the dog's fur. But avoid approaching dogs on leashes – not because of the dog, but because there is usually a human on the other end.
If you become ill with COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you isolate yourself from your pets and have someone else care for them. If that isn't possible, continue to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
Also remember: If your pet needs medical care, make sure you inform your veterinarian if you or a household member is ill with COVID-19. That information will allow your veterinarian to take adequate precautions.
The evidence around pets and the coronavirus is changing rapidly and our team is keeping an updated review about how cats, dogs, ferrets, other less common pets and livestock are affected by the new coronavirus.
But where the science stands today, there is little to worry about with regards to your cat or dog. In rare cases, they might become infected with the virus, but the chances of them getting sick from the infection or passing it on to you or another animal are extremely low.
Questions about your healthcare?
We're here to answer any questions you might have about your healthcare coverage.
COVID-19: Call (877) THE-HALO to explore your options and learn how we're prioritizing your health.