There is currently no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract COVID-19, and according to the CDC, it doesn’t appear that they can spread it, either: Smooth, non-porous surfaces like door knobs and countertops are much better for transmission than porous materials like fur. But while the risks of contracting coronavirus from your new puppy appear to be minimal, there are still precautions you and your breeder will want to take to keep everyone safe.
The first thing to do is to talk to your breeder in advance. Ask what precautions they’re taking before the puppy leaves their home, whether they’re spacing out pick-ups to avoid overlap with other people, and how the actual handoff of your dog will comply with social distancing. Make sure you both have a firm understanding of the plan and of any no-touch procedures you’ll follow.
"You can't communicate enough in this situation," says Dr. Judith Stella, head of standards and screening at Good Dog.
If you’re driving to pick up your puppy, bring hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes with you, and try not to make any stops along the way. If you do have to stop, try to avoid touching smooth surfaces as much as you can. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for the recommended 20 seconds before you get back in your car, or to use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if you can’t wash your hands.
When you get to your breeder’s house make sure you stay at least six feet apart. Avoid physical contact. Don’t enter their house. Once your puppy is home, sanitize anything. Then wash your hands again and give your new best friend a tour.