Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is on every continent except Antarctica. You can help protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by washing your hands, not touching your face, cleaning surfaces, and avoiding close contact with others. But do you need to practice social distancing from your dog? Can dogs get sick from coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease. Zoonotic diseases spread between animals and people. Experts currently believe that COVID-19 originated in bats, spread to pangolins, and then spread to humans. Since then, coronavirus has rapidly spread to humans across the globe.
What do the experts say about dogs and coronavirus?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not reported any cases of dogs or pets becoming ill with COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization, there has been one case of a dog having COVID-19 in Hong Kong. However, there is no evidence that dogs can transmit the disease.
The American Veterinary Medical Association states,
“Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.”
The AVMA also says that you can continue interacting with your dogs and pets like you normally would if you do not have COVID-19. This includes normal walking, feeding, playing, petting, and grooming. Practice good hygiene like you normally would, washing your hands after feeding and playing with your pet, and keeping your pets food and water bowls clean.
However, the AVMA recommends that people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 limit contact with pets until more is known about SARS-CoV-2. They state that this is “out of an abundance of caution”.
COVID-19 is a new pandemic and we are still learning about the disease and the virus that causes the disease.