COVID-19 Update: The NC State Veterinary Hospital is expanding services, but still only seeing a limited number of cases at this time. Click to learn more about appointments.

Animals and Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Aug. 7

The NC State College of Veterinary Medicine is closely monitoring developments related to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and its potential impact on animals.

The Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and other institutions cited here continue to update their information as more is learned about the novel coronavirus.

Should I be concerned about pets or other animals and COVID-19?

There have now been hundreds of thousands of documented COVID-19 cases in humans around the world. Despite this, there have been only a handful of cases where this infection has been found in pets. For this reason there is currently a very low risk that the virus causing COVID-19 can spread from human to animal. According to the CDC, a small number of pets have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after contact with people with COVID-19.  

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

If you are sick with COVID-19, you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just as you would for people. That includes avoiding petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked or sharing food.

If possible, the CDC recommends having another member of your household care for your animals if you are sick with COVID-19.

Since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands before and after being around animals.

More Resources for Information About COVID-19 and Animals:

Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#Pets-and-Animals

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

American Veterinary Medical Association: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19

United States Department of Agriculture: https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus