Animals and Covid-19

Alert - Susceptibility of pets to COVID-19
While there are still many unknowns, preliminary information suggests cats, dogs and ferrets can get infected with COVID-19. There have been several reports of people with COVID-19 transmitting the coronavirus to their pets (dog, cat). There is also a report of a tiger in a zoo that tested positive for COVID-19. It is still not clear how commonly this occurs and under what circumstances. Most of the infected animals that have been reported did not develop observable signs of illness, however, information is still very limited.

Risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to humans
The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human-to-human transmission. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), there is no evidence to suggest that animals infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of this human disease. This is an area that continues to be studied.

Precautionary measures around animals 
It is recommended that people with COVID-19 symptoms or those who are self-isolating due to contact with a COVID-19 case, follow similar recommendations around animals, as they would around other people in these circumstances:

  • avoid close contact with animals during your illness
  • practice good handwashing and avoid coughing and sneezing on your animals
  • if possible, have another member of your household care for your animals
  • if this is not possible, always wash your hands before and after touching animals, their food
  • restrict your animal's contact with other people and animals outside the household until your illness is resolved
  • for example, house cats should remain indoors at all times and dogs should be only taken out briefly on a leash to relieve themselves​

Pets contribute to our overall happiness and well-being, especially in times of stress. If you are feeling well (no symptoms of COVID-19) and are not self-isolating because of COVID-19 illness, taking walks with your dog and/or spending time with your pet can contribute to keeping both you and your pet healthy. Source: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency