IDEXX announced on March 13 that it had evaluated thousands of canine and feline specimens during validation of its new veterinary test system for the COVID-19 virus and had obtained no positive results. The specimens used for test development and validation were obtained from specimens submitted to IDEXX Reference Laboratories for PCR testing.
Considering this information in total, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations (CDC, OIE, WHO) agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people.
Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19, out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If you are ill with COVID-19, be sure to tell your physician and public health official that you have a pet or other animal in your home. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. Additional guidance on managing pets in homes where people are sick with COVID-19 is available from the CDC.
For responsible pet owners, preparing in advance is key. Make sure you have an emergency kit prepared, with at least two weeks’ worth of your pet’s food and any needed medications. Usually we think about emergency kits like this in terms of what might be needed for an evacuation, but it’s also good to have one prepared in the case of quarantine or self-isolation when you cannot leave your home.
While the AVMA is recommending these as good practices, it is important to remember there is currently no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people.
Please be sure to call your veterinarian before going into their pratice and see what steps need to be taken for your visit. Some practices might even have to limit their appointments and take emergiencies only.
To ensure that our patients get the medications, prescription foods and other products they need right now, we want to remind you that we have a trusted online pharmacy partner who can deliver your pet’s supplies to your door. Shipping is free on many orders, and there’s also an AutoShip option that will send your pet’s regular meds and foods to you on schedule. There’s a link on our website homepage or you can just follow this one: https://
Information gathered and written by the American Veterinary Medical Association, avma.org.