Nowadays world news are filled with a new disease called coronavirus or COVID-19. And owning a dog means worrying for one more living being in addition to worrying for yourself, your friends and family. In this blog post we will look at the information available from reputable sources and discuss can dogs get coronavirus and/or they can pass the infection to their owner?
What is Coronavirus?
Let’s start by discussing about coronavirus. By the definition of World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause ilnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases.
The coronavirus we see on the news is the virus responsible for COVID-19. WHO states the name of the disease as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
With almost 100 thousand confirmed cases (as we write this post), coronavirus affects the lives of all over the world. You can check the number of total confirmed, total death and total recovered cases in this Coronavirus map.
What Are Coronavirus’s Symptoms?
Regular signs of contamination can be listed as:
- Respiratory symptoms,
- Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
And more severe cases the signs of infection can be these:
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome,
- Kidney failure,
- And death.
Now let’s discuss the state of coronavirus disease in dogs:
Can Dogs Get Coronavirus?
World Health Organization’s website states that coronaviruses are zoonotic. Meaning they CAN transmit between animals and humans. But for the COVID-19 specifically, there are no concrete proof or statement.
Also, CDC states that animals are not at risk with COVID-19 outbreak. The evidence shows that the virus have emerged from an animal source but now it is spreading from person-to-person. And also says “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.”
CDC adds a warning after that: Even though there is no evidence that companion animals like pets spread COVIC-19, the disease can be spread from animals so it is always a good idea to wash your hands after being with animals.
And a recent New York Times article also examines the questions of have the companion animals been infected by the virus or what kind of precautions pet owners should take.
Another point asked about this topic is “Are dogs vaccinated against coronavirus?” and since there is no vaccination of coronavirus of any kind, the answer is no for now.
UPDATE: A Pomeranian Dog Has Coronavirus in Hong Kong
News from March 5, 2020 showed a proof about coronavirus disease in pets. A pet dog in Hong Kong was confirmed to be infected with the disease, it is believed to be the result of human-to-animal transaction.
The dog of a 60 year old woman patient tested “weak positive” fort he new coronavirus. The dog’s breed is reported to be a Pomeranian. Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) says the dog has a “low level of infection.”
The dog infected with Covid-19 is not showing any symptoms of the disease.
Other than that one incident there are no cases reported about coronavirus in dogs. After the coronavirus evidence in the Pomeranian, Hong Kong government put in new measures in place, including 14 days quarantine for pets infected with the coronavirus.
There are two dogs quarantined at this moment. One is the infected Pomeranian. And the other dog belongs to another coronavirus patient. The other quarantined dog tested negative for the virus, it will be tested before its release from the quarantine.
Hong Kong authorities warn people about this topic and warns the owner to avoid kissing their pets. They also add that the dog owners shouldn’t panic and under no circumstances should they panic anda bandon their dogs.
What Can You Dog Owners Do To Avoid Coronavirus?
It is reminded to dog owners to adopt good hygiene practices like
- washing hands before and after being around pets or street animals
- washing hands before and after being around their food or supplies
- avoid kissing them
- and maintain a clean and sterile household environment.