What You Need to Know About Coronavirus and Your Pets

TEXAS — With the recent positive COVID-19 diagnosis of a tiger with respiratory illness at a New York City zoo, lots of people have expressed concern about giving coronavirus to or receiving it from their pets.

  • CDC does not consider animals source of spread of virus in the United States
  • Some instances of human-to-animal infection documented
  • Those who test positive encouraged not to have contact with pets 

The good news is, all available information from the Centers for Disease Control indicates there’s not a great deal to worry about in this regard.

CDC LINK: COVID-19 and Animals

According to the CDC, coronavirus is a large family of viruses, and while there are coronaviruses that can be spread from animals to people, it is rare.

The current coronavirus that has caused a worldwide pandemic is believed to have originated in a live animal market in China, but it is now principally spreading from person to person.

LINK: Information on Bringing an Animal into the United States

The CDC further says there is no current evidence to suggest that pets or other companion animals can spread COVID-19 to people or that they are a source of infection in the United States.

However, there are cases, including the tiger, of people passing COVID-19 on to animals. The CDC says further studies are needed to understand how animals could be affected by COVID-19.

If you are sick with COVID-19, it is recommended that you limit contact with pets. If possible, have another member of your family tend to your pet, and if you must interact with your pet, wash your hands consistently.

CDC LINK: What to Do if You Are Sick

If you still have questions about pets and COVID-19, it’s best to reach out to your veterinarian.