Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make headlines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not see any reason to believe that animals, including pets, might be a source of infection for the virus. In addition, the CDC had not received any reports of pets or other animals getting sick with the virus in the United States. While it’s unlikely that pets or other animals would pass the COVID-19 virus to humans, it’s important to note that animals can spread diseases to people, which only emphasizes the importance of practicing healthy habits around pets and other animals.
Washing hands after handling or being around animals or their waste, food or supplies is one simple preventive measure that can safeguard humans from diseases transmitted by pets. Properly cleaning up after animals is another simple way to reduce the risk of diseases being transmitted by pets. The CDC advises cat owners to scoop cat litter daily and change it at least twice per week. Pregnant women should never clean cat litter. Dog waste should be promptly removed from private and public spaces. When cleaning cages, habitat and pet supplies, do so outside the home to avoid contaminating interior surfaces. When that’s not possible, clean such materials in a laundry room sink or bathtub rather than the kitchen sink.