Households and communities across the nation have felt the effects of the coronavirus. In addition to embracing measures such as social distancing and wearing masks in public, many pet owners are reaching out to their veterinarians to better understand how COVID-19 can impact dogs and cats. Here’s a basic guide to how this virus affects pets so you’re prepared if symptoms arise. 

Understanding a Pet’s Risk of Contracting COVID-19

Can Dogs and Cats Get COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have only been about 50 cases worldwide where dogs and cats contracted COVID-19. The odds of a pet getting the virus are extremely low, but animals in close contact with a severely infected human could possibly pick up the virus.

It’s important to note that all of the pets that have tested positive were either asymptomatic or experienced only mild symptoms from which they recovered. There have been no known cases of transmission of COVID-19 from dogs or cats to humans.                                                                                   How Can You Protect Your Pet?

VeterinarianThe best way to protect a dog or cat from contracting the virus is by keeping them away from strangers as much as possible. When walking your dog, keep them on a leash and refrain from letting them interact with humans outside of your household. 

Pets should abide by the same social distancing rules as humans. Avoid gatherings and crowded public places. However, pets should not wear masks, as this can restrict their ability to breathe and confuse them. 

What Do Veterinarians Recommend When Pet Owners Get Sick?

While the risk of contracting COVID-19 is extremely low in dogs and cats, you may wonder what to do if you or a member of your household contracts the virus. Most veterinarians don’t recommend separating yourself from your pets. However, it depends on the severity of your case and your individual needs.

If doing so allows you to focus on getting rest and tending to your personal needs without the stress of walking, feeding, and caring for a pet, then you should seek help to care for your pet. Do your best to isolate any sick individuals from the rest of the household and refrain from sharing beds and food with your pets. 


If you need a dedicated animal hospital that will treat your pet like family, Dr. Douglas Foreman & Dr. Roberta Mauro of Cherry Hill Dog & Cat Hospital are the veterinarians for you. Based in Elkton, MD, this modern and innovative animal clinic has served pet owners across Cecil County for over five decades. To schedule an appointment, call (410) 398-1331. For more information on why they’ve been voted the best veterinary facility in the region three years in a row, visit their website or Facebook page.