Coronavirus and Your Pet: CDC States No Evidence that Pets Can Be a Source of Infection

March 9, 2020

Pet parents should follow basic hygiene practices to keep themselves and pets healthy

SAN DIEGO, March 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Petco is closely monitoring the evolving outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), particularly as it pertains to the health and safety of our partners, the pets in our care, pet parents and their pets. In an effort to keep pet parents informed of the latest and most accurate information about pets and the coronavirus, Petco will be providing updated information to help pet parents make informed decisions about their pets at where pet parents can get up-to-date facts about pets and COVID-19.


According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is currently no known reason to think that any animals, including pets in the United States, can be infected with or spread COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, the CDC always recommends washing your hands after being around animals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. As the disease continues to spread, the CDC recommends following routine preventive measures that can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and flu, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.

"The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control is clear that there is no evidence that pets can be a source of infection of COVID-19 or that they become sick with the virus," said Dr. Thomas Edling, DVM, MSpVM, MPH, consulting veterinarian at Petco. "Apart from maintaining good hygiene practices, pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets because of COVID-19."

"We know Coronavirus/COVID-19 is a concerning topic for people everywhere, including pet parents," said Petco CEO Ron Coughlin. "With news around the current outbreak continuing to change daily, we're tapping into our Petco Pet Wellness Council, an independent coalition of leading experts in animal health and veterinary science, to provide perspective on the most important things pet parents need to know, and we'll continue to provide updates as the situation evolves."

Pet parents who have concerns or further questions regarding coronavirus can visit the CDC's FAQ on COVID-19 and animals and the CDC's Healthy Pets, Healthy People website or visit

About Petco and the Petco Foundation 
Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer with more than 50 years of service to pet parents. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,500 Petco and Unleashed by Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico; complete pet care services and veterinary advice through PetCoach; and The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has invested more than $260 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 400,000 animals every year.

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  Ventura Olvera