The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is no evidence in the US that companion animals can spread COVID-19 to people. There is also no reason to believe that shelter dogs are a source of COVID-19.

Experts are aware of a small number of pets outside the US, including cats and dogs, reported to have been infected after close contact with people with COVID. However, there is no evidence that pets can spread it to humans, however a tiger at the Bronx Zoo reportedly contracted the virus from a human. Research shows that ferrets, cats, and golden Syrian hamsters can be infected with the virus and spread the infection to other animals of the same species in a laboratory. Dogs are not as likely to become infected with the virus, but more studies are needed.

If you are sick with COVID-19, you should restrict contact with your pets and have another household member care for them. If that isn’t possible, wash your hands thoroughly before and after you interact with them, and wear a cloth face covering. If your pet gets sick after contact with you or someone else with COVID-19, call your veterinarian.

Going for walks outdoors are good for you and your pet. However, it is important to maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people and animals while outside. You should also refrain from gathering in groups or going to dog parks and public places where people and dogs gather. Also, do not let others pet your dog when you are out for a walk.

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