The definite cause of the current spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unknown, yet it originally came from an animal source in Wuhan China. CDC is knowledgeable of a small number of cats and dogs, infected with the COVID-19 virus, usually after close contact with people with COVID-19. The first animal positive case is in the United States. It was a tiger with a respiratory illness at a zoo in New York City. There is no indication that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Here is a summary of ways on how to keep your family and pets safe during this pandemic.

1. Do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the house becomes ill, quarantine that person from everyone else, including other pets.

2. While you are sick, when possible, have another family member take care of your pets.

3. Avoid contact with your pet, including snuggling, petting, being kissed or licked, and food sharing. If you will be around and care for your pet while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

4. Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals.

5. Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.

6. Be conscious that children five years old and younger and 65 years of age and older are more likely to get sick from viruses and germs that some animals can carry.

For more information, visit CDC’s COVID-19 and Animals, and Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

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