Pet Owners

NCDHHS’ Division of Public Health and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are closely monitoring the emerging information about COVID-19 and its consequences for domestic animals. 

Pets and COVID-19

It appears that dogs and cats are not readily infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. There is no evidence to suggest that animals, including pets or livestock, can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to people. 

In a few rare instances, infections in dogs and cats have been documented. In these instances, people have given the infection to their pets and not the other way around. There is no evidence that dogs develop symptoms if infected with this virus. There is very limited evidence that cats and ferrets might develop mild symptoms, but not much is known about the course of illness in these species at this time. 

Pet Owners

Take common sense steps to protect your pets by limiting contact if you are sick with either suspected or confirmed COVID-19, just as you should limit contact with other people.

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals.
  • Avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
  • People should never take drugs intended for animals, as the FDA has only evaluated their safety and effectiveness in the particular animal species for which they are labeled. These animal drugs can cause serious harm in people.

There is no reason to remove pets from homes where COVID-19 has been identified in members of the household, unless there is risk that the pet may not be cared for appropriately.

Resources

Guidance

Guidance for Vets, Animal Services, Equine Boarding Facilities and Livestock Markets