Can Dogs be infected with COVID-19? Short answer, YES! Dogs contract COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “There is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States”.
Dogs can contract coronaviruses, most commonly the canine respiratory coronavirus. What we all know as COVID-19 is not believed to be a health threat to dogs, but dogs can test positive. It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to dogs in some situations but based on the limited information available to date, the risks of animals spreading COVID-19 back to people is considered low. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available but for now, treat pets as you would other human family members.
Q1- How can my dog contract canine coronavirus?
Ans. Oral contact with infected fecal matter is the most common way it is transmitted. If a dog is already infected and your dog comes in direct contact with him/her or eats from the same bowl, your dog could get infected. If a dog is infected, he/she could be ill from 2 to 10 days as well as develop secondary infections. Those infections (bacteria, parasites, etc) could make the infection last longer which slows down the recovery. Dogs could be a carrier for up to 180 days.
Q2- Should I continue taking my pet to routine appointments (Grooming, Dog Training, Vet Visits)?
Ans. You have to do what’s best for your dog. If your dog is sick or needs medical attention, you should take your dog to the Vet and carefully abide by the Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 guidelines. Many people have become first time dog owners or have rescued pets during this pandemic. Dogs still need some type of socialization and training. It is recommended that you play games to exercise your dog such as fetch, tug of war, and/or arrange safe play dates with another dog. You can also consider walking your neighborhood wearing masks and keeping a social distance when possible. Dog Owners should avoid large dog training groups and if needed, seek private lessons from professional dog training. It can be difficult finding dog trainers of all needs searching through Yelp and Google, so many dog owners are downloading the Leash pros Mobile app which makes it easy to find dog trainers near you. Dog Trainers, Organizations, and Clubs have been increasingly adding their Dog Training profile during this pandemic to help dog owners. If you still need grooming services, consider DIY grooming on YouTube. Also, consider mobile grooming services which can be pricier, but it can provide a safe way to get your dog groomed.
Q3- Are there signs of canine coronavirus?
Ans. The most common sign associated with canine coronavirus is diarrhea. This is typically a sudden onset and the canine may also seem lethargic with a decreased appetite. The stools appear loose, with a fetid odor and orangish tint that sometimes contain blood and/or mucus. Sometimes, young puppies with the infection may display more severe symptoms than others. Studies show that most canine coronavirus infections produce few clinical signs in dogs.
Q4- How do know if our dog has coronavirus compared to another disease?
Ans. Canine Coronavirus symptoms can be very similar to other diseases to include parvovirus for puppies. If your dog diarrhea has not resolved in 24 hours, you should see your veterinarian. If your dog’s diarrhea is combined with a loss of appetite and lethargic behavior, you may want to see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Keep in mind, there is currently no cure for coronavirus although antibiotics could help with some secondary bacterial infections.
Safe Dog Walking & Dog Training & Social Distancing
Find a local dog trainer that encourages masks and social distancing.
Do not use parks or trails if you are showing symptoms.
Keep at least 6 feet from other hikers and dogs.
Do not park in crowded lot and use a less crowded trail.
Do not use parks as social gathering places or form groups.
Wipe your dog paws off after they return from training.
Avoid social interaction by keeping dogs on leash.
No matter the situation, remember your pet needs you to be responsible during this pandemic.
Find answers to all your coronavirus concerns, plus at-home activity ideas, training tips, educational resources, and more at our ‘Coping With Coronavirus COVID-19′ hub.