Posts have been popping up on social media concerning Canine Coronavirus which has spurred quite a bit of worry for dog parents. So, do you need to be worried about contracting the Coronavirus or COVID-19 from your dog? No. According to the CDC and WHO, there is no evidence that humans can catch the novel Coronavirus from a pet.
1. Do Pets Pose Any Risk of Spreading the New Coronavirus?
As of right now (March 2020), there is no proof that dogs or cats can carry and pass along the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. There was one reported case in Hong Kong where a Pomeranian presented mild symptoms of COVID-19. This dog likely caught the virus from his owner, and there was no evidence that the dog could spread the virus to a human.
COVID-19 is a novel virus, which means that it is newly developed. The term “Coronavirus” refers to a specific family of viruses. Lately, though, it has come to be synonymous with the global pandemic we’re experiencing. COVID-19 is a human-to-human virus. As of right now, COVID-19 disease, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus is not zoonotic or transmitted between animals and people.
2. What is Canine Coronavirus?
COVID-19 is not the same as the Canine Coronavirus (CCoV). CCoV is an existing virus that infects a dog’s intestines and causes severe diarrhea. While all dogs can catch CCoV, most get over the virus on their own. Puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with weakened immune are more vulnerable to CCoV since it can cause dehydration and malnutrition. Dogs can spread CCoV to one another through oral contact or contact with infect fecal matter.
Humans cannot contract CCoV. Unlike COVID-19 that affects a person’s respiratory, CCoV is a gastrointestinal problem that only affects canines. There is a vaccine for CCoV, but veterinarians only recommend it when risk is high enough.
3. What Pre-Cautions Should You Take as a Dog Owner?
Do dogs need face masks? Absolutely not.
Continue to practice social distancing and avoid congested areas. This may mean not going to the dog park and avoiding shopping for dog food at the busiest times of the day. You can switch to using a delivery service for pet supplies.
Practice social isolation with your dog. If you’re asked on walks if someone can pet your dog, politely decline as a precaution.
Always wash your hands after petting your dog and interacting with others’ dogs.
Supervise children and wash their hands after petting a dog or cat. It’s also important to reinforce good hygiene practices for the whole family. Educate children and assist as needed in hand washing, sneezing and coughing into the elbow, and not sharing items that wind up in their mouths.
We hope you’re staying safe and healthy. If you want to learn more about COVID-19 please check the WHO website or the CDC.