As the novel coronavirus spread around the world from China, many pet owners worried about the potential link between coronavirus and dogs. The good news is researchers, doctors, and veterinarians believe it’s rare for dogs to become infected with the coronavirus and are unlikely to transmit it to people or other animals.
Can dogs get COVID-19?
The simple answer to the question, can your dog get COVID-19, is no. Although lions and tigers at the Bronx Zoo and a few pets in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Belgium, animals are unlikely to transmit the disease to humans. In all of the recorded cases, the animals that tested positive for the virus had been in close contact with humans who were infected.
Where it gets confusing is the fact that dogs can become infected with a different coronavirus. Canine coronavirus or CCoV is an intestinal infection rather than a respiratory tract infection. CCoV is especially dangerous for puppies.
Have more questions about coronavirus and dogs?
Can I get COVID-19 from my pet?
The good news is research has shown its unlikely dogs, or cats can transmit coronavirus to people or other animals, according to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association it’s highly unlikely that dogs or cats can spread the coronavirus to people or other animals.
Because information about the virus is continually evolving, it’s best to exercise care and make sure you provide your dog with love, healthy food, and regular exercise. Dogs are family members, and just as you limit your exposure to other people, it’s best to limit your dog’s exposure to other people and animals during this pandemic.
Don’t let your dogs spend time outside unsupervised, and provide them with healthy food, vitamins, and supplements to keep them healthy.
Bolster daily walks with indoor exercise, fun games, or puzzle toys to keep your dog active. Avoid dog parks where a large number of people or dogs could gather.
If I get sick, could my dog get infected?
People who become ill with COVID-19 could spread the virus to your loved ones, too. If you have a pet at home and you feel unwell, then you should quarantine yourself and stay away from family members and your dog until your health improves.
That means you need to avoid sharing your bed with your dog, feeding your dog, letting your dog lick you, or snuggle with you. If possible, have another family member or friend take care of your dog.
Should I get a coronavirus test for my dog?
If you have a pet, then you know your dog needs regular checkups with your vet.
Unless your dog becomes ill, there’s no need to make a special appointment with the veterinarian, especially not for a coronavirus checkup. But if you notice any change in your dog’s health, if he feels ill, coughs, or sneezes, then consult your vet.
Is it safe to adopt a pet from a shelter during the pandemic?
The risk is low that animals at a shelter will become infected with the novel coronavirus. During the virus, most shelters have moved dogs out and into the homes of volunteers.
Wait to adopt a dog if you’re worried about contracting the virus. Or, if you fear the dog might carry the virus on its coat, you could give your new dog a thorough brushing and bath when you get home.
The novel coronavirus is extremely contagious and can be fatal, especially for people with underlying health conditions and the elderly. But the good news is the World Small Animal Veterinary Association says it’s highly unlikely that dogs or cats can transmit the coronavirus to people or other animals.
Infographic by Pet News Daily