Can Pets Get COVID-19?

There has been a preliminary report that a dog in Hong Kong has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This however has not been independently verified. According to the CDC, no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus that causes COVID-19 at this time, and there is no evidence that dogs, cats, or other pets can spread COVID-19. However, what we know about COVID-19 is continuously evolving as new evidence and cases emerge.

The risk of a person passing COVID-19 to a pet appears to be very low, but we can still take precautions. The CDC recommends that people who are sick with COVID-19 restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would restrict your contact with other people. When possible, a member of the household other than the individual who is ill should care for any animals in the household. Those infected with COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. Those who must care for a pet, or who will be around animals, while sick should wear an appropriate facemask and wash hands thoroughly before and after interacting with those animals.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Visit coronavirus.tufts.edu for the full Tufts University update, including the latest travel restrictions.