COVID-19 and Animals

Updated:  April 27, 2020

Last week, the CDC announced the first National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL)-confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in two pet cats. These are the first pets in the United States to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. We are continuing to monitor this as more is learned about the virus. Until then, here is what we do know:

  • At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
  • Currently, there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can spread to people from the skin or fur of companion animals.
  • Since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. To learn more about CDC recommendations for pet owners click here.
If You Have COVID-19

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, 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 pets and wear a face mask.

Emergency Preparedness Plans for Pet Owners

FACE has joined with Indianapolis Animal Care Services, IndyHumane, Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside, Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana, The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society of the United States – Indiana to urge pet owners to have an emergency plan in place for their pets in the event they become hospitalized during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Owners are urged to do the following:

1. Find a temporary caregiver in case you are hospitalized.
2️. Put together an “emergency supply kit”.

Your kit should include:

  • Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
  • Name and contact information for your back-up, in case your go-to is no longer able to help
  • Food, treats, a leash, toys, and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
  • A crate or carrier to transport your pet, should they need it
  • Vaccination records
  • Collar with ID tags (if your pet has a microchip, don’t forget to make sure the information is up to date)
  • Medications, along with instructions
  • Daily care instructions, including a feeding schedule
  • Your veterinarian’s contact information

According to the CDC and the World Health Organization, there is currently no evidence that people can get COVID-19 from pets. FACE isn’t currently open to the public, but we can still help you by emailing your pet’s health records. Requests can be sent to us via email.

Additional emergency preparedness resources can be found here in both English and Spanish.

 

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