Cases of pets contracting COVID-19 prompt social distancing calls for pets

In the age of the coronavirus, people tend to think of social distancing in terms of people, and the thought of infecting their precious furry friends never crossed their minds.

Now, experts want animal lovers to know that there is no evidence that an animal can give human COVID-19, but humans can expose their pet to the virus.

"There is a case now of a dog showing symptoms, but it was living in a house with people that were affected with COVID," said Michael Moorefield with Arizona Animal Welfare Rescue.

The dog infected is a pug, and it is not the only animal who has contracted the virus from human-to-animal contact. A tiger at the Bronx Zoo, along with two other cats, have tested positive for the virus.

 Moorefield says it's important to treat that four-legged friends the same way if you're experiencing symptoms, including not interacting with them, and not even petting them.

"One of the points that I had is that your pet can’t affect you with COVID, and that’s one of the big parts of this. You may be able to infect your pet, but it’s not the other way around, but think of if you are sick and you cough, and then you put your dog there first, it can be very difficult to clean and disinfect on a regular basis," said Moorefield.

It may be too early to tell what the symptoms would be, but Moorefield offered some tips.

"You are with your pets all the time during this. You will notice if there is a change in their personality, so keep a really close eye on them and if there are concerns, talk to your veterinarian," said Moorefield.

Moorefield says the best thing people can do is to have an emergency plan in place, in case they contract COVID-19 and wind up in the hospital.

"Creating a checklist, creating friends and family to care for your animals if you get sick and you have to go to the hospital very quickly. Do you have time to write out a list and call people? You should have that on hand, on a piece of paper on your dining table with a go-bag for your pet, so that something ever happens to you and yours, someone can walk into your house with gloves, pick up the information and walk right out," said Moorefield.

LIVE: Interactive Coronavirus case data and map


FOX 10 is working to keep you up to date with local and national developments on COVID-19. Every weekday on FOX News Now, our live coverage begins at 7 a.m. MST reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.

You can watch live in your FOX 10 News app or on the FOX 10 Facebook page.

Get the latest coronavirus news by downloading the FOX 10 News App. Our promise is that our alerts are there to inform you - not scare you.

You can also get the latest coronavirus news from around the country at

Additional resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ (In Spanish/En Español)

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars (In Spanish/En Español)

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Related Stories

Coronavirus: What to do if you’re told to self-quarantine

Does wearing a face mask protect you from coronavirus and other infectious diseases?

Social distancing: What to do and what not to do to slow the spread of COVID-19