Q. These days when due to the virus endemic we are so isolated, many of us tend to acquire a pet for company. If you touch a pet cat or dog, do you have to wash your hands to make a brocho?
A. Rivavos Efraim (O.H. 8: 7) maintains that in principle one does not need to wash hands. However he mentions that the Kaf Hachaim (200: 81) quotes Yafe Lalev that one should wash hands after touching an impure (non kosher) animal. Although, Shulchan Aruch Horav (93: 7) opines that one does not have to wash, Rivavos Efraim suggests that one should wash netilas yodaim, especially if the animal was soiled. He asserts that when touching a kosher animal, one need not wash, as we constantly do shechita to those animals and no netila is required.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is similar, since these animals often revolve around the ground. The fact that Moshe Rabbeinu, Moshiach, and other tzadikim rode donkeys, does mot mean that their hands were in direct contact with their bodies.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a