Can dogs physically carry the human Coronavirus?

woman walking dog

People all throughout the world have been afflicted by the COVID-19 epidemic, which has caused dread and uncertainty. One of the most common concerns among pet owners is if their animals may carry and spread the illness to people. Experts are working hard to discover the facts and share them with the public, even if they don't have all the answers.

What Is COVID-19?

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory infection that spread over the world in 2020, impacting hundreds of thousands of people. This extremely infectious virus spreads quickly from one person to the next. The beta-coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2 (previously known as 2019-nCoV). This is an unique (new) virus that scientists are currently researching as of 2021.

Can Dogs Get Coronavirus?

Coronavirus strains that harm dogs exist, however they are not the same as COVID-19. Canines can catch a coronavirus strain termed canine enteric coronavirus (CCoV), which causes diarrhea in canines. A canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV) is also present, although it is rare.

COVID-19 is a human virus that does not appear to affect canines in any way. In Hong Kong, two canines were infected with COVID-19 but did not develop ill. Experts believe the virus was transmitted from a human to a dog rather than the other way around. "Infectious disease specialists and several international and domestic human and animal health organizations concur there is no proof at this moment that pets disseminate COVID-19 to other animals, including people," according to the AVMA.

There are some documented cases of animals testing positive for COVID-19.

USA cases:

  • A tiger and a lion in New York, April 2020
  • Two domestic cats in New York, April 2020
  • A dog in North Carolina, April/May 2020

Other countries:

  • Two dogs in Hong Kong, March 2020
  • A cat in Belgium, March 2020
  • Two mink farms in The Netherlands, April 2020
  • Two domestic cats in France, May 2020
  • A domestic cat in Spain, May 2020
  • A domestic cat in Germany, May 2020
  • A dog and a cat in The Netherlands, May 2020
  • A cat in Russia, May 2020

Some of the animals were sickened. The majority of them are thought to have caught the virus from infected humans. There is no indication that animals may transmit COVID-19 to humans as of 2021.

Can Strangers Who Pet Your Dog Spread Coronavirus to You?

COVID-19 is primarily transmitted via person-to-person contact, especially when droplets of saliva or mucus get into the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes.

A secondary mode of infection is by fomites, which are virus-infected items or surfaces. On non-porous surfaces like metal and plastic, the virus may survive for considerably longer. The virus, on the other hand, does not grow on soft, porous materials such as cloth or pet fur. As a result, a pet carrying virus particles from one person to another is extremely rare.

Despite this information, it's best to be cautious and keep strangers away from your pet. Groom your pet well after contact with others, then wash your hands well.

Life for Dogs During the Coronavirus Isolation Period

Many cities and governments have had or will enact shelter-in-place orders or social separation. Your dog may feel bewildered by the shift in routine during this time of seclusion. You may notice indications of boredom if your dog is used to leaving the house and visiting public locations.

The best method to care for your dog at this period is to stick to a schedule as much as possible. If you are not unwell, continue to exercise every day. Keep your distance from other people and avoid public locations when walking your dog. Both you and your dog should practice proper hygiene methods. Handwashing is important, as is keeping food and water bowls clean, washing toys and bedding, and grooming your dog on a regular basis.

How to Socialize Dogs During the Coronavirus Isolation Period

If you're trying to socialize your or older dog, this crisis comes at the worst possible time! However, as long as COVID-19 remains a worry, social separation is necessary. You'll have to think outside the box to create socialization for your dog without endangering yourself or others.

You may still take your dog outside and expose him to automobile and truck sounds and sights. You may even enlist the assistance of family members who are in isolation with you to help you create specific scenarios. Set up new settings in your house or yard to practice. Request that a family member walk with crutches or a noticeable limp.

Are There Any Risks to My Pet if I Take Them to the Vet During This Time?

There is no indication that companion animals, including dogs, may spread COVID-19 or be a source of infection in the United States, according to the AVMA and the CDC. Veterinary clinics are taking efforts to safeguard their workers and clients against the spread of COVID-19. As a result, many businesses only accept pets as drop-offs or for curbside/car-side service. This is to prevent the coronavirus from spreading among individuals.

Although COVID-19 virus particles are unlikely to persist on a pet's body, people at high risk should take extra measures. If you are at a higher risk than most people and your pet need medical attention, it is advisable to have another person accompany your pet to the doctor. Ask that individual to groom your pet after each visit as an added precaution (bathing or simply brushing out the pet can offer peace of mind).

How to Handle Your Dog if You Become Infected With COVID-19

Although infecting your pet with COVID-19 or transmitting viral particles from your pet to another human is rare, it's necessary to take measures until we know all of the facts. "Those ill with COVID-19 should limit contact with animals until more information about the virus is known," the AVMA advises. "Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or must care for your pet, wear a face mask; don't share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them."


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