Guidance For Pet Owners From BOAH

Eric J. Holcomb, Governor
Bret D. Marsh, DVM, State Veterinarian

Office of the State Veterinarian
Discovery Hall, Suite 100
1202 East 38th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46205-2898
Phone: 317/544-2400


Dear Fellow Hoosier:
In the midst of all the life disruptions generated by COVID-19, I want to offer some guidance to pet owners who have/may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
While much is still unknown about this virus, no evidence indicates that companion animals, including pets, can spread the infection to humans. However, because we are still learning about this novel coronavirus, we recommend that pets that have been in contact with COVID-19 patients should also remain in the home during the isolation period.
I hope these guidelines will help you understand how to care for your pet if you and/or your family are faced with quarantine:
• Restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people.
• Designate someone in the household who is not ill to feed, water and care for pets, if possible.
o If not, wash your hands thoroughly before and after feeding and handling pets.
• People who are sick with COVID-19 should avoid direct contact with pets including petting, snuggling, kissing, being licked, and sharing food.
• Pets should remain in the home and cared for at home as much as possible.
• Prevent interaction with other animals and people outside the home (such as walking the dog). Do not take pets to the dog park, pet supply stores or boarding kennels.
• If your pet requires veterinary care, contact your veterinarian ahead of time for guidance. Follow your veterinarian’s guidance before taking your pet to the clinic.
• Service animals should remain with their handlers throughout the isolation period.
One more word of guidance: If you are unable to continue to care for your pet while ill, seek help from family, friends or neighbors. To be clear: No evidence suggests that companion animals will spread the disease. We recommend pets be thoroughly bathed when transferring to another caretaker. This step should remove any virus particles that are present on the coat.
We are hopeful that following these and other recommended public health measures will keep everyone healthy during this pandemic.


Bret D. Marsh, DVM
Indiana State Veterinarian
Indiana State Board of Animal Health

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