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Decontamination - Pets

Man washing dog illustration
  • If you are instructed to stay inside during a radiation emergency, pets should be inside too.
  • If your pet was outside, bring your pet inside.
    • Wash your pet carefully with shampoo or soap and water and rinse completely.
    • Wear waterproof gloves and a dust mask (or other material to cover your mouth) if you can.
    • Keep cuts and abrasions (both yours and your pets) covered when washing your pet to keep radioactive material out of the wound.
    • Wash your hands and face after washing your pet.
  • Pet food in sealed containers (cans, bottles, boxes) will be safe for animals to eat. Wipe off pet food containers with a damp cloth or clean towel before opening them. Wipe off pet bowls, dishes, and mats too. Put the used cloth or towel in a plastic bag or other sealable container and place the bag in an out-of-the-way place, away from other people and pets.
  • For pet sanitation, put newspapers or other absorbent material in your pet's area so your pet can relieve itself indoors.
    • Do not touch soiled material with your bare hands.
    • Place soiled material into a plastic bag or other sealable container
    • Place the bag in an out-of-the-way place, away from other people and pets.

More information on sheltering-in-place, visit

More information on evacuating with pets, visit


Contact Us: - Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed. The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO

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