Social distancing may protect pets from catching, spreading COVID-19

Diane Thompson said Tess, her Labradoodle, is helping her get through this quarantine.

“Tess is a great companion,” Thompson said. “She makes me feel safer that she’s in the home. She’s really funny. She’s really a joy to have around. I really think that she has helped me save some of my sanity.”

Thompson was concerned to learn that a dog in North Carolina had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

RELATED: Coronavirus infects North Carolina pug, possibly first dog in US to contract novel virus

“It does concern me that we are now aware of a case of a dog having the virus because there is so much about this virus we don’t know,” she said.

The CDC recently released regulations on protecting pets from COVID-19.

Jean Shafiroff, an animal activist and ambassador of the American Humane Society, said the recommendations are pretty clear.

“The CDC is advising that you social distance your dog with other dogs and with people the same way you would social distance yourselves,” Shafiroff explained. “Six feet away from dogs, and then six feet away from people.”

According to the CDC, it’s fine to play with your dog as you normally would inside your home, just be aware when they are outside.

Shafiroff said the CDC also recommends avoiding dog parks. It’s also necessary to wash your pet if they roll around in the grass or dirt.

RELATED: Very good dogs don't necessarily make very good co-workers

Thompson said she is doing her part with social distancing and just hopes everyone else goes by the rules too.

“I am very much looking forward to things returning to a more normal situation, however, I think the normal is going to be different from the normal we lived prior to this,” Thompson explained.