Social Distancing with Your Pets

Our normal life now involves news reports that are constantly changing, and it seems like there are a lot of new cases of COVID-19 that are emerging which now is including zoo animals and family pets. The CDC has now expanded the social distancing guidelines to include our pets.


The following recommendations from the CDC are for people who share their homes with their pets:

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
  • Talk to your veterinarian if your pet gets sick or if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.


If you suspect that you’re sick with COVID-19 or you have had a positive test result, you should restrict your contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with your family that lives with you. The CDC recommends:


  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with your pet including, petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
  • If your pet becomes sick, do not take them to the veterinarian yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care. You can view the guidelines that the CDC released for Veterinary Clinics on their website


Remember, that the CDC says there is no evidence that animals are playing a significant role in the spread of COVID-19.  The current information available makes the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people to be very low. It’s always a great idea to practice healthy sanitary habits while around your pets and other animals. Wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste or their supplies. Always practice good pet hygiene and cleanup have your pets properly. Don’t be afraid to talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health, and be aware that people with weakened immune systems, people 65 years of age or older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick from germs that some animals carry.