Woman wearing mask walking her Jack Russell.

Frequently Asked Questions: What Dog Owners Need to Know About COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is ever-evolving, and as we learn more about this novel virus, we discover new information about the virus’ impact – including the way it affects our canine friends.

Today we’ll discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and dogs, and share answers based on recent information reported by several reputable sources, including top public health and animal health experts, and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.

It’s important to remember that COVID-19 is a novel virus – one the medical community has never seen or experienced before. While the answers to the following questions are backed by current scientific research, information available may change as we learn more about the virus.

To provide our PuppyViewer community with the best guidance possible, we’ll update this article should more findings become available.

Can My Dog Become Infected with COVID-19?

The probability that companion animals, like dogs, will be exposed to and infected with COVID-19 is currently thought to be low, depending on the species.

At this time, there is evidence that dogs have some level of susceptibility to infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), but there isn’t enough information to determine whether or not dogs will actually develop the associated illness.

While dogs can test positive for the virus, COVID-19 is not believed to be a health threat to dogs at this time.

If Infected, Can My Dog Transmit the Virus to Other Animals?

At the current time, dogs have not been found to be able to transmit the virus to other dogs.

If Infected, Can My Dog Transmit the Virus to People?

To date, there have not been any reports of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from a dog to a person.

Can My Dog Transmit COVID-19 Through Contaminated Hair Coat/Fur?

Although there is some risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through contact with a contaminated hair coat/fur, it is considered unlikely that a sufficient amount of virus would remain on the hair coat/fur long enough to transmit infection in most cases.

Practicing proper hygiene, such as handwashing, would help to mitigate this risk.

What Can I Do to Protect my Dog From COVID-19?

You can help protect your dog from COVID-19 by taking many of the same precautions you would take to protect yourself from the virus:

  • Practice diligent handwashing and avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Limit contact with other people and animals
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Adhere to physical distancing guidelines, leaving at least two metres of space between you and others you may pass when out for a walk or other activity
  • Always keep your dog on a leash or within a private, fenced area to limit contact with other people and animals

If you or someone in your family has been infected with or exposed to COVID-19, avoid close contact with your dog (no snuggling, kissing, petting, etc.) and practice good hand hygiene.

If possible, have someone else in your household care for your dog and restrict their contact with other people and animals outside the household until illness is resolved.

Where Can I Find More Information about COVID-19 and Dogs?

For more information about COVID-19 and its effects on dogs, please talk to your veterinarian, or consult the following trusted sources:

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