Coronavirus: Keeping Your Pets Safe During the COVID-19 Crisis

March 13, 2020


The information in this article may not reflect the most current updates on COVID-19 reporting. Please visit for the most up-to-date information. 

Updated March 18, 2020

Updates to operations for ASPCA client services continue to develop. Please refer to these webpages for the most up-to-date information:

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center remains open for calls from pet parents regarding pets who may have ingested toxic substances. 

We’ve also gathered frequently asked questions around the coronavirus and companion animal safety, which we will continue to update with new information as we get it. 

We want to stress that there is no current evidence that suggests the coronavirus can be transmitted to or from companion animals. The best place for people and their pets is at home, together. 

Updated March 17, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop, we’ve decided to make the following updates to select client services in an effort to protect our employees, clients and animals in the communities we serve:

“The ASPCA is committed to prioritizing the health and safety of pets and their owners, and we are closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19,” says Dr. Stephanie Janeczko, Vice President of ASPCA Shelter Medicine Services. “A pet’s first line of defense is a well-prepared owner, and we strongly encourage pet owners to take the necessary precautions and incorporate pets into their preparedness plans to keep their family—including their pets—healthy."

Although some services are currently suspended, certain limited services are still available in these locations, so please check back for updates on operations.

March 13, 2020

Our priority is always to keep ASPCA employees, clients and the animals in our care safe, and we are taking necessary precautions amid the growing concerns around the worldwide COVID-19 virus outbreak. Here is pertinent information that can help keep your pets safe during this crisis.

Can My Pet Contract the Coronavirus?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the disease is spread to humans through person-to-person contact. There have been no reports of pets or livestock becoming ill or spreading the coronavirus in the U.S. Likewise, the World Health Organization has stated that there is no evidence that dogs or cats have become ill with this particular virus.

Wash Your Hands
Although there is no current evidence that suggests the coronavirus can be transmitted to or from companion animals, it’s always a good idea to follow basic hygiene practices around animals. This includes washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day and before and after direct contact with your pets, their food or their supplies.

Stock Up on Pet Supplies
Prepare a kit with essential supplies to have on hand in the event of an emergency. Your emergency kit should include a 30-day supply of your pets’ medications, as well as at least two weeks’ worth of food. 

Designate an Emergency Caregiver
Proactively identify someone who could help with their short- or long-term care in the event you are unable to care for your pet. Consider a family member, friend, neighbor or your favorite boarding facility.

Create a Pet Dossier
If your emergency caregiver’s assistance is needed, make it easier for them by having all of your pets’ information in one place. Consider including things like habits, food preferences, medical conditions and medications taken, veterinarian contact information, and any behavioral tendencies.

We will keep you updated on any developments to services at our facilities or other public information around pet safety and COVID-19 as it develops.