The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended social distancing guidelines to pets.
“Treat pets as you would other human family members — do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household,” the agency said in an advisory statement. “If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.”
While CDC acknowledged there is still much to be known about COVID-19, in some situations “it appears that it can spread from people to animals” although “based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.”
We’re still learning about how #COVID19 affects animals, but it appears that people can spread the virus to animals in some situations. Until we know more, limit contact with pets if you are sick or feeling sick. For more info, see: https://t.co/H8NS2GTd4x. pic.twitter.com/uGEbo1su2O
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 23, 2020
The first reported instance of U.S. animals testing positive for coronavirus was in a tiger at a New York City zoo. A handful of other house pets, including both cats and dogs, have also become infected with coronavirus after being in close contact with people who were positive.
Seven more big cats— four more tigers and three lions—have tested positive for the #coronavirus at the Bronx Zoo. This comes the same day as two pet cats in New York become the first in the U.S. to test positive. https://t.co/KGjXNfyDgj @natashaldaly @NatGeo
— David Beard (@dabeard) April 22, 2020
The agency is advising people to avoid dog parks, staying six feet from other animals and people while walking dogs, keeping cats inside, and not allowing pets to interact with other people and animals outside the home.