CDC Updates Pet and COVID-19 Recommendations




In a letter to members, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) shared up-to-date information on pets and the novel coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

According to PIJAC, the main information about pets and COVID-19 from CDC has NOT changed:

  • At this time, there is no evidence that animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 to people or that they might be a source of infection in the United States.

  • To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

  • However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.


The new recommendations for pet owners from CDC include advice to “limit pets’ contact with people and animals outside the household, to wear a cloth face covering if sick and caring for pets, and to contact your vet if sick and your pet gets sick.”

CDC posted a new set of Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and animals that cover “concerns about what animals can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, pet cats, walking dogs, what to do if a pet gets sick, and testing animals.”

Here is a summary from CDC of its new pet recommendations:

  • Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a potential infection.

    • 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 ft. (2 meters) from other people and animals.

    • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

    • Talk to your veterinarian if your pet gets sick or if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.

  • If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), you should 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 are sick with COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself.

    • Call your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19.

    • Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other alternate plans for seeing sick pets.

    • Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care.


Additional information about COVID-19 is available on the CDC website. PIJAC continues to collect the latest information and resources on this crisis as it pertains to pets, pet owners and the pet care community on our website at


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