As an indoor dog park, our staff has been fielding questions about the Coronavirus (Covid-19) as it relates to our dogs. Here are some common questions along with research that we've done in an effort to learn more about the virus. As we all learn more about this virus, we will continue to keep this article updated. We are by no means experts when it comes to this new global outbreak but we are doing our best to compile information from trusted sources. We will also link to sources for any of our answers in the article below.
Isn't my dog vaccinated for Coronavirus?
There is a commonly administered Canine Coronavirus (CCoV) vaccine. It is very likely that your dog has been vaccinated as part of the DA2PPC, DAPPV or DAPPVL combination vaccine. Canine Coronavirus is a family of virii and the vaccine treats several identified strains. Symptoms of the canine variants of the virus most commonly exhibit intestinal infections rather than the respiratory symptoms that Covid-19 causes.
It should be noted that there is a rare canine respiratory Coronavirus (CRCoV) which was identified in 2003. This strain of the Coronavirus does exhibit respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing and mucus) and is most commonly found in dogs located in the European mainland and Japan.
The dog of a Covid-19 patient in Hong Kong has tested “weak-positive” for the #coronavirus, but officials say there is no evidence pets can spread the infection https://t.co/DK8ShrWbyR pic.twitter.com/WMQRkoMXdu— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) March 5, 2020
Can my dog get Coronavirus?
According to livescience.com one dog has tested a "weak positive" for Covid-19. It is unclear from a statement released by the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department if the dog was actually infected or if it picked up traces of the virus from a contaminated surface. The dog is not showing symptoms of Covid-19 but has been quarantined as a safety precaution. It should also be noted that some dogs developed symptoms during the SARS outbreak in 2003. Although dogs and cats did get sick and show symptoms during that outbreak, there were no reported cases of dogs transmitting the virus to humans. The world health organization still maintains that dogs and cats cannot be infected with Coronavirus and cannot spread the virus to humans.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract or spread COVID-19.
Can a dog give me Coronavirus?
Even if dogs are able to contract Covid-19, it is very unlikely that they would be able to pass it to humans. Infections from one species to another can happen when we share similar receptors on the surface of our cells. If an animal virus can bind to a human cell receptor, it makes us sick. That's probably what's behind the current outbreak; we share similar cell receptors with bats, known carriers of the new virus. (Peter Daszak - President of EcoHealth Alliance, an organization that studies the origins of viruses). Dogs and humans do not share many similar cell receptors so it would be highly unlikely that dogs would be capable of passing it to humans.
We will keep this article updated as we learn more about this outbreak but for the time being, your pup is safe from Covid-19 infection. As far as humans go, follow these tips from the World Health Organization so you can stay safe as well.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Try to maintains some personal space between you and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
- Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze
- If you have a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, seek medical attention early
- Continue to stay informed as we learn more about Covid-19