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COVID-19 and Pets: Can Animals Carry Coronavirus on their Skin and Fur?

COVID-19 and Pets: Can Animals Carry Coronavirus on their Skin and Fur?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), at this time, there is no evidence that 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 novel coronavirus to people is considered to be low. 

According to available information, a few pets — including cats and dogs — have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, but this happened mostly after the animals were in close contact with people infected with the COVID-19 virus. 

Although we know certain bacteria and fungi can be carried on fur and hair, there is no current evidence that viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread from pets to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets.

Practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands before and after interacting with them and maintaining good hygiene. 

In the event that you become sick with COVID-19, you should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, same as you would with 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, or sharing food or bedding. 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 cloth face covering.

If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health and how it can be affected by COVID-19, contact your veterinarian.

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