Posted March 06, 2020
IMPORTANT: Information for Animal Owners

COVID-19 UPDATES FROM THE COLLEGE

The CDC says that it does not have any evidence to suggest that companion animals can spread COVID-19 and has received no reports of pets becoming sick with the virus. The virus originated from an animal source but is now being spread person-to-person. That said, if you are sick with COVID-19, it is advised to restrict contact with pets and other animals. If you must care for a pet while sick, wash your hands before and after, and wear a facemask.

The CDC also says that it has no evidence of imported animals or animal products pose a risk of transmitting COVID-19. Any imported pets or other animals must undergo typical CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements and before entering the country.

Here's what we know:

As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020

  • There are 7 different types of coronaviruses. The CDC doesn’t believe this strain, COVID-19, can be transmitted to domestic animals.
  • The virus originated from an animal source but is now being spread person-to-person.
  • There are many common diseases that cause respiratory signs in dogs.
  • At present, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations (CDC, OIE, WHO) agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people.
  • Understanding about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and its impact on humans and animals, will continue to evolve. If circumstances change and new information becomes available, it will be shared with the public immediately.
  • Since animals can sometimes spread other diseases to people (zoonotic diseases), it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.

How to keep pets safe:

  • When handling and caring for animals, basic hygienic precautions should always be implemented. This includes hand washing before and after being around or handling animals, their food, or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing, licking, or sharing food.
  • Include your pets in your family’s emergency preparedness planning.
  • Make sure you have a two-week supply of food and medication on hand for your pets.
  • It is recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit contact with companion and other animals until more information is known about the virus.
  • If you are still concerned or notice a change in your pet, speak to a veterinarian.
  • If you think your pet is sick, or if your pet becomes injured, call the veterinarian before you bring your pet in. Several veterinary practices have implemented increased safety precautions. For the safety of you and your pet, it's best you're aware of these procedures before you come in.
  • And the most important protection of all: under no circumstances should you abandon your dogs, cats, or other pets because of COVID-19 fears.