Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update from NEADS

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Dear NEADS Clients,

With the concerns surrounding COVID-19 (the coronavirus), NEADS wanted to reach out to you as owners of NEADS Service and Assistance Dogs.

For this post, we have sought guidance from Dr. Christine Pelletier (DVM), the NEADS Medical Director.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), there is no evidence, at this time, that companion animals can spread COVID-19. At this time, there is also no evidence that any dog has become ill with the virus.

Here is some information we thought would be helpful as it relates to you and your dog.

Prevention: As noted in every publication about the virus, a major key to prevention is to wash your hands continually and to not touch your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands.

For your Service/Assistance Dog, please ask anyone who is petting your dog, with your permission, to wash their hands before and after. If using a hand sanitizer, it should have 60% alcohol content.

Assistance Dog Owners should not let your clients go face to face with the dog. And, as noted earlier, your clients should wash their hands before and after petting your Assistance Dog.

If you or a member of your household become ill with this or another virus, please use the same good hygiene with your Service Dog as you would with any member of your household:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Wear a mask
  • Minimize contact with the dog’s face or mouth (i.e., kisses).

If your employer asks you to not bring your dog into work please contact your NEADS trainer for guidance on care that your dog may need if home for extended periods of the day.

As noted in the beginning, this is our guidance given the current information provided by the CDC, the AVMA and WOAH. We are continually monitoring developments about the virus and will provide further information as needed.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your trainer or to me.



Katy Harrison Ostroff, LICSW

Manager of Client Services


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