Skip to content

Humane Society of Greater Rochester

With new information coming in daily about COVID-19, we know it can be challenging to stay up to date. This past weekend, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the virus and has left many people wondering and worrying about what this means for their pets at home.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to let facts guide how we react to this new information. Despite the attention this case is receiving, it doesn’t change what we already knew about the communicability of COVID-19 or how we move forward keeping our families, including our pets, safe.

  • While both cats and dogs can test positive for the virus, it is not believed that either can give us COVID-19.
  • We, on the other hand, may be able to transfer COVID-19 to our pets. So, if you are displaying symptoms of the virus, don’t cuddle with your pets and try to avoid direct contact as much as possible. We encourage everyone to have a pet emergency plan to provide continued care for your pets if you become ill, including designating another person as a caregiver. If you are the only one in your household able to provide care for your pet and have tested positive, make sure you are washing your hands before and after each interaction.
  • Be sure your pet is practicing the same proper social distancing you are, avoiding other pets and people for the time being. They may miss playing with their friends (as we all do) but it’s important to everyone’s health that we maintain our distance during this time.
If you are the only one available to care for your pet and you are displaying symptoms, remember to wash your hands before and after each interaction to help prevent transmission to your pet.

Our advice and the CDC’s recommendations have not changed. Please keep your pets at home with you—even if you are self-quarantined. It is the best place to ensure they receive the care they need. Just also make sure you and your pets maintain good social distancing practices.

Keep your pets at home with you—even if you are self-quarantined.

We hope this information helps put your mind at ease regarding your pet’s safety during this difficult time. Thank you for continuing to remain informed and practicing safe social distancing. We look forward to when all of us, pets and people, can enjoy coming together as a community again.

More Resources: