Pets and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 16:40
Protect your pets during the Covid19 outbreak

The following resources have been compiled to help people answer questions or concerns about pets and COVID-19 and to share how you can help keep pets and people safe in your community. Remember that this is an evolving issue and updated information is being released regularly. This page will be updated as new information is made available, and additional sources should be treated the same way.

A Message from Best Friends CEO, Julie Castle

Information for Pet Owners

Important Resources

For trusted sources on up-to-date information for pets and people, Best Friends recommends the following: 

Remote Access to Veterinary Consultation Services Now Available 

Best Friends is offering free veterinary consultations for 30 days through our Best Friends Vet Access app when you use the code BFHELPS.  

If you need medical advice for your pet but are unable to reach or visit a local veterinarian, please take advantage of this temporarily free service. Calls can be recorded and the service is available 24 hours a day.  Please note, the code BFHELPS is valid for 30 days, and the service is $12.99 after that unless cancelled. 

Download the app for free. 

Protecting Your Pets If You Have COVID-19

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there is currently no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States. And according to the CDC, “At this time, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread to people from the skin or fur of pets." We encourage you to monitor the CDC's webpage on pets for the latest updates. 

FAQ on How to Get Help 

Learn more about preparedness, the latest information on protocols around pets and people, and answers to common questions like “can I take my dog for a walk?” in this comprehensive FAQ

Help Pets and People in Your Community

While it’s important to stay healthy and safe and take appropriate precautions, there are opportunities to come together to help spread kindness to people and pets in your community. Here are some actions you can take to make a lifesaving difference today:  

Spread Kindness With Community Kindness Cards 

Take advantage of Best Friends’ new community kindness cards to offer help to your neighbors and their pets during shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders. These cards are an easy way to reach out to fellow community members who might be in need and offer support while still following physical distancing precautions.  

Download and print your community kindness cards here (Available in both English and Spanish) 

Foster or Adopt A Homeless Pet 

Animal welfare experts anticipate that communities will experience a surge in the number of pets entering shelters as the spread of COVID-19 affects the health and safety of pet owners, shelter staff, volunteers, animal control officers and other animal welfare professionals. Fostering or adopting a pet from a shelter in your area is one way that you can make a lifesaving difference right now.  

Find a Best Friends Network partner near you.  

FAQ on More Ways to Help 

There are many ways that you can help homeless pets and spread kindness for animals during this time. Visit the FAQ for more ways that you can help including answers to questions about fostering, volunteering, and supporting your local shelter and community.   

Updates on Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Lifesaving Centers 

On a daily basis, we will be evaluating and communicating any adjustments to visitor and volunteer information for all Best Friends locations. To get the most up-to-date information on a specific location, please use the contact information here. And be sure to follow us on Facebook for additional updates. 

If you have a trip planned to the Sanctuary, please know that we have waived all cancellation fees for Best Friends lodging. Your safety and comfort are essential. Please use the contact information in your original confirmation email if you have any questions or concerns. 


These resources are being updated regularly as more information about COVID-19 becomes available. Be sure to check back often. If you have further questions or know of local resources that might be helpful, please reach out to covid@bestfriends.org