One Health Organization > COVID-19

People living with or working with pets may be concerned about the impact of COVID-19. The information below was updated on 1/4/2021.

How likely are you to get COVID-19?

That depends. If you are in a high-risk group, or if you are directly exposed to a person carrying and shedding the virus, then you are at higher risk of getting the virus and getting sick from the infection. People are still becoming infected because they are not following strict safety guidelines.

How can you avoid getting COVID-19?

There are simple ways to protect yourself from getting infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

When you need to go somewhere outside your home… Wear a mask. Keep 6-feet apart from other people. Wash your hands. When the vaccine becomes available to you, get vaccinated based on the recommendations for that particular vaccine.

Can my pet get COVID-19?

Some animals, like dogs and cats, may get infected if they are in close contact with a person who is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. If infected, they may or may not appear to be sick.

Therefore, if you are sick with the virus that causes COVID-19, then it’s best that your pet isn’t close to you, especially to your face when you cough or sneeze, which can spread the virus. Have someone else help take care of your pet while you’re ill and even a short while after you’ve recovered.

Can you get COVID-19 from a pet?

There is no report to date that pets, like dogs or cats, can give people COVID-19. To be cautious, officials report that the risk of getting COVID-19 from a pet is low.

Can I get essential services for my pet?

Yes – but service providers and services that are offered may be more limited in Ohio now that people are concerned about getting infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals, including pets, are considered essential services. However, not all services that are provided by veterinarians are considered essential. Contact your service provider if you believe you need critical services for your pet.

For more complete information, listed below are the best resources we’ve found that give the facts about COVID-19 and the risks to you and your pets.

Information about people and COVID-19


Information about pets and COVID-19


Information for veterinary staff and COVID-19


Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren studied lung diseases for 15 years and is a public health professional as a veterinarian. She is a member of local, state, and national veterinary associations, as well as national public health associations. She gathered this information as a general guide for people living with pets. If you have specific questions about your personal health, call your primary care physician. If you’re concerned about taking your pet to a veterinarian, groomer, boarding facility, or elsewhere for essential care, consider calling ahead. They may or may not be open for business. If they are, ask how they’re planning on reducing the risk that you will get exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 from their facility or staff. They may offer curb-side interactions.