Catalina Island Medical Center

If someone with the virus pets a dog or cat then you pet the animal can the virus be transmitted?

Last Updated: April 3, 2020

Please note the date this question was addressed by CIMC staff. Some information may have changed. For up-to-date information click here.

It does not appear that dogs and cats can actually be infected by this particular coronavirus, so the risk of COVID-19 would be purely based on droplet transmission. We’re not aware of any particular study that evaluates the duration that coronavirus can survive on animal hair/fur, but we would anticipate that it would be similar to other surfaces, where the virus can live for many hours. Thus, we would recommend that if you decide to pet a dog or cat, you should proceed with proper hand sanitation/washing afterwards, particularly before touching your face. Since transmission can occur in asymptomatic patients, these guidelines should be followed for any animal outside your immediate home.

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