Can Dogs Get This New Coronavirus? Can My Dog Give Me Covid-19?

While Coronavirus is a major concern in the world right now, not a lot of attention has been paid to whether or not dogs can get this disease. Can my dog get Covid-19? Could my dog give me Covid-19?

The American Veterinary Medical Association sent a memo out to all veterinarians:

We are actively monitoring developments related to animals and the virus. On Thursday, February 27, a dog in Hong Kong tested “weak positive” for coronavirus (the owner tested positive for coronavirus). The dog has since received a second positive result that has been sent to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which is working with Hong Kong health officials on this case. The precise meaning of “weak positive” remains unclear and further evaluation is ongoing. Hong Kong authorities have said the dog shows no clinical signs of illness but remains quarantined. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

American Veterinary Medical Association March, 2020

So, should you be worried? There are some take-home messages with this message from the AVMA:

  • The dog didn’t have clinical signs
  • The owner was sick and likely coughing.
  • It’s also safe to assume that the virus, which is known to live hours on surfaces if not cleaned, was all over that owner’s home.
  • The dog likely picked up the virus with its mouth just by eating and drinking and going about its normal activities.

Furthermore, this is the information currently available on the CDC’s website:

While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person in China. There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19.

What To Do If You Have Covid-19 And You Have A Dog

The CDC has another message for dog owners:

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

How Can You Protect Yourself And Your Dog From Getting Covid-19?

There are some common sense tips for how to prevent yourself from exposure to Covid-19 (although none of these are totally fool-proof):

  • Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands
  • Seriously – wash your hands! With soap! For at least 20 seconds before you rinse.
  • If you have an appointment with your veterinarian in the next few months for a routine exam and any needed lab work or vaccinations, consider doing them now instead of waiting a few months. The numbers affected by Covid-19 are bound to increase over the next few months. You may want to cut down on your trips out during that time.
  • Stock up on your dog’s medicines and food in case you are forced to stay home for 2 weeks or more because of a quarantine.
  • Consider a immune system supplement for your dog. I’m personally taking this Elderberry product right now to give myself as much protection as possible.

The Future Of Covid-19

This virus is likely to stay around for a very long time. A vaccine is at least a year away according to all reputable scientific sources.

Don’t Dogs Get Coronavirus?

There is a coronavirus that affects dogs, but it’s an intestinal issue and is usually a fairly self-limiting, mild disease. It usually affects puppies and, if your dog shows any signs at all, causes a few days of diarrhea.

It’s for this reason that many veterinarians don’t actually vaccinate for coronavirus anymore in dogs. It’s considered a rather mild disease that doesn’t need to be directly addressed.

The one exception to this is if your dog also has a concurrent parvovirus infection, but the treatment is the same for both viruses. In these cases, parvovirus will be the only disease tested for and the only one being treated.

In Conclusion

There’s no reason to fear for your dog just as yet, but it’s important to first protect yourself. Keep an eye on the news, stay away from crowds, and wash your hands!!