How to Care for Pets During COVID-19

If you have COVID-19 or you or your pets have been exposed to COVID-19

There have been limited reports of animals becoming infected with COVID-19.

There is currently no evidence that pets or other domestic animals play a significant role in the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick, it is recommended that you avoid contact with pets and other animals, just like you would other people, until more is known.

Keep your pets in your home

  • If you are sick, ask someone else in your home who is not sick to care for your pets.
  • If everyone in the home is sick or you live alone, it is still best to keep your pets in the home if it is possible to care for them.

Consider if pets must be moved to another home

  • Individuals at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness (people over 70 years or with underlying health conditions) should avoid being temporary caregivers to exposed animals, if possible.
  • Keep the pets isolated to one area of the home in order to minimize contact with other animals or people, if possible.

Avoid close or prolonged contact with pets

  • Avoid the following contact with the pet as much as possible: snuggling them, kissing them, letting them lick you, sharing food with them, or letting them sleep in your bed or sit on your lap.

Keep pets away from people and other animals

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible.
  • When dogs are outside, they should be on a leash and at least two metres away from other people and animals.

Take precautions when providing care for pets

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately before and after touching the pets, their food or supplies.
  • Do not cough or sneeze near the pets. Always cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and clean your hands afterwards.
  • Always avoid touching your face.

Monitor your pets for any signs of illness if they have been exposed to COVID-19

  • If your pet shows signs of illness, call your veterinarian to determine if your animal needs to be seen at a clinic or can be managed at home.

Learn about the virus

COVID-19 is a new virus. It spreads by respiratory droplets of an infected person to others with whom they have close contact such as people who live in the same household or provide care. You can also access up to date information on COVID-19 on the Ontario Ministry of Health’s website:

For more information please contact:

The information in this document is current as of July 31, 2020

©Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2020