A few weeks ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus a global pandemic. As the panic around this virus grows, many pet owners are worried about the health of their companion animals. Can dogs get coronavirus? Is this something that you should be worried about?
There is currently no evidence that shows dogs can spread COVID-19. However, there is a lot more to it than just that. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, one of which is the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Some of these viruses cause illness in people, while others can cause illness in certain types of animals.
Can dogs get coronavirus? In order to answer this question, I had to do a lot of research. There is a lot of false information being passed around, and I wanted to be sure that I had the correct information backed by research. Keep reading to see what I found out about the COVID-19 virus and the threat to our beloved canine companions.
Can Dogs Get Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
There are coronaviruses that infect animals and can be spread to humans. Once a human contracts the disease, it spreads from human to human. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is VERY rare. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which appeared in 2002, is an example of a coronavirus that started in animals and spread to humans.
It is suspected that this is the case with the current COVID-19 pandemic. While it has not been verified, initial reports from China have tied the outbreak to a seafood market. It is unlikely that this market was the single source of the outbreak, but experts are still investigating.
At this time, there is NO evidence that dogs can spread COVID-19, or that they could be a source of infection in the United States.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, you should not be worried about petting your dog during this time. Their Chief Veterinary Officer Gail Golab said “We’re not overly concerned about people contracting COVID-19 through contact with dogs and cats. The virus survives best on smooth surfaces, such as countertops and doorknobs… Porous materials, such as pet fur, tend to absorb and trap pathogens, making it harder to contract them through touch.”
I know this is a troubling time, but you don't need to worry about your dog contracting COVID-19 or about contracting the disease from petting your companion animals. There is already so much to worry about, and many people are in a state of panic. You can relax knowing that as long as you are taking the proper precautions, your pet will be safe during this pandemic.