We have been in a global pandemic for over a year now. Millions of people have been infected by the new coronavirus. Many people have died, and thankfully many people have recovered from it successfully. But is COVID only limited to humans, or can animals get it too? Or specifically, can dogs get corona?
Can dogs get corona?
Dogs in fact can contract different coronaviruses. Most commonly it’s the respiratory kind that also includes COVID 19. However, corona isn’t in any way life threatening to dogs. While they can, in fact, test positive for it, it’s very unlikely that they will develop any kind of symptoms.
The first recorded case in the US was a pug named Winston from North Caroline. However, further testing on the pup proved that the test was actually falsely negative. While there was a weak detection of the virus in the first sample, every other sample taken after that came back negative.
Three family members who lived in the same home as the dog had tested positive for COVID-19.
Other cases in China were also reported. In all cases the dogs lived with owners that were tested positive for corona. That makes it most likely to be a human-to-animal transmission. However, these dogs didn’t show any symptoms as well.
Research done in Hong Kong on 17 different dogs proved that dogs are not infected easily with the coronavirus and that there isn’t any evidence of dogs further spreading the virus.
Can dogs spread corona?
WHO declared that there isn’t any type of evidence proving that any pets could transmit COVID-19. Corona spreads through droplets produced by coughing, sneezing or speaking. The most successful way to protect yourself from a possible infection is by wearing a mask and social distancing.
The CDC explained that “while this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. There is no reason to think that any animals or pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this novel coronavirus.”
How can I protect my dog from corona?
To protect your dog from COVID you’ll have to protect yourself first. Most dogs that test positive got it from their owners. Follow basic hygiene precautions such as washing your hands for longer than 30 seconds. Wear a mask and stay at home as often as possible.
In case you still somehow test positive and worry about infecting your dog, the CDC has provided guidelines for pet care:
- Have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick
- Avoid contact with your pet
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them
- Dogs do not need a face mask to protect against COVID-19.
- Wipe your pet’s fur and feet when they come in and out of the house
Never abandon your pet because of COVID fear. The day you adopted your pet was the day you promised to care for them in good and in bad times. They need us, and they shouldn’t be punished for the situation the world is currently in.