Infectious disease experts and several international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.
COVID-19 appears to be primarily transmitted by contact with an infected person’s secretions, such as saliva or mucus droplets in a cough or sneeze.
The current thought is that COVID-19 might be able to be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface or object (i.e., a “fomite”) and then touching the mouth, nose, or possibly eyes. Smooth (non-porous) surfaces (e.g., countertops, doorknobs) transmit viruses better than porous materials (e.g., paper money, pet fur), because porous, and especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the virus, making it harder to contract through simple touch.
Because your pet’s hair is porous and also fibrous, it is unlikely that you would contract COVID-19 by petting or playing with your pet. However, because animals can spread other diseases to people and people can also spread diseases to animals, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands before and after interacting with your pet. It is also beneficial to bath your pet regularly and to consistently clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys.
For more information from the American Veterinary Medical Associated on COVID-19 for pet owners, click HERE.
For the latest information from the CDC on the COVID-19 situation, click HERE.