Corona virus refers to a family of viruses that cause a range of diseases. They are related to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus of 2003 that caused many people to become ill. Some corona viruses cause illness in humans, and some types cause infection in animals.
The current novel corona virus was first detected in Wuhan in Hubei Province, China in late 2019. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 infection to be a pandemic. Because we cannot confirm the exact source of this current pandemic, we don’t know as much about it as we would like.
People are understandably concerned about the possibility of infection and many, without evidence of truth, have dumped their dogs in shelters across the United States. So…are you at risk of corona virus infection from your dog? Or is your dog likely to catch the virus from you?
Canine Corona Virus Is Not the Same as COVID-19
Canine Corona Virus, also known as CCoV, is a highly infectious intestinal condition. CCoV is not the same virus as the virus that makes humans sick and does NOT affect people. Canine Corona Virus transmits to other canines.
Canine Respiratory Corona Virus
Canine Respiratory Coronavirus (or CRCoV) is genetically related to the human corona virus that causes the common cold. It is not related to Canine Corona Virus and is not transmittable to humans. Symptoms include nasal discharge and coughing. Like its relative, the Canine Corona Virus, Canine Respiratory Virus may transmit to other dogs.
No Proof Covid-19 Transmits Between Dogs and People
There is currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of COVID-19 for humans or that the virus can cause the disease in dogs. If your dog is usually at home and doesn’t contact other dogs or people, and no one in your household has COVID-19, the odds that your dog would become infected are highly unlikely.
The CDC is currently aware of a small number of dogs in countries outside the United States reported to be infected with the virus after being around humans with the virus. “Further studies are needed to determine if and how animals could be affected by the virus that causes COVID-19 as well as how it might affect human health.”
What Are the Risks of Dogs Spreading Covid-19
Because the virus survives best on smooth surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops, porous material such as pet fur would tend to absorb and trap pathogens, making it more difficult to transmit them through touch, according to this site.
How You Can Protect Your Dog from Infection
It makes sense that if you become ill, you should stay away from your dog. Don’t take the chance of infecting him if you are sick. Ask other family members to feed and walk him until you are better.
If you must be around the animal when you are ill, wear a mask and wash your hands carefully before and after you handle the animal or his belongings.
When you walk the dog, stay far away from other dogs and people to protect your pet. Also, keep an emergency two-week supply of food and treats on hand, just in case you get sick and can’t get out to shop.
What We Know & Have Yet to Learn about Dogs and Covid-19
We now know that the types of corona virus that dogs are known to get are not the same as the human strain. Dogs are far less likely to catch and transmit the human corona virus strain than some other animals. Avoid places where animals and humans congregate, such as dog parks. Keep your dog at home and walk him close to home and away from other people and dogs. If you become ill, get someone else to feed and walk your dog, if possible.
We still have much to learn about this disease, who it will affect and how contagious it is. Follow CDC guidelines, wear masks and latex gloves when you have to be around other people and practice common sense. It’s ok to pet your dog but during this period of uncertainly, avoid big hugs and kisses with your dog to protect him and you. As long as you practice common sense, both of you should safely get through this difficult time.