April 2, 2020
Categories: Shelter Medicine

There has been a lot of confusion around what precautions to take for pets who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) doesn’t have evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. So, do you isolate, quarantine or separate a pet that has been in a house with the virus? 

For now, separation is being recommended. Why? Isolation is used when the pet is sick and can transmit the disease to humans and/or other pets. A quarantine is recommended when a pet has been exposed to a disease but isn’t showing symptoms yet. That pet will then be quarantined for a period to see if it breaks with the disease.  

Since there is currently no evidence to suggest that pets can pass on COVID-19 to humans, separation is recommended. And, since we don’t want to make things harder on people and pets, the pet can and ideally should stay with their human. If the pet is brought to a shelter, they should be kept away from the general population for 14 days. “A separate run (ideally double-sided) roped off from the rest of the general population is adequate,” says Dr. Julie Levy.  

You can read more about how American Pets Alive! is handing an exposed pet. 

If you or your shelter are currently in need of masks, there are plenty of tutorials out there. This one is for a fabric mask and this one has passed the Respirator Fit TestMany volunteers with sewing skills and idle hands have been making masks so ask them to help!