Coronavirus + Dogs: Are Dogs COVID Transmitters?

What is coronavirus and how does it affect dogs? With all the "news" and posts floating around the internet lately, it's hard to believe what's true, what's "fake news" and what's meant to just be a funny meme. 


What is Coronavirus?

Okay, by now we all know that Coronavirus is a highly infectious disease also known as COVID-19, so let’s spare the little details. A quick google search can clear this up in a million different ways. 


COVID-19, Coronavirus, SARS, what? Why can’t we decide on a name?

All these names floating around the web, media, and in conversations - they are just. so. confusing.

What is what really? Well, one is the name of the virus and the other is the name of the disease. There are different processes, and purposes, for naming viruses and diseases. Coronavirus is the name of the virus, while COVID-19 is the name of the disease. (Think of HIV v.s. AIDS - HIV is the virus, and AIDS is the disease)

If you are just as curious as we are and need to know more about the history of the names, below is a Coles Notes version:

Sometime in December 2019, a women contracted “pneumonia” in Wuhan. After this first “pneumonia” case, Wuhan doctors were beginning to notice a “cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause”. Eventually this outbreak was identified as the novel Coronavirus. Authorities best guess at this point is that it happened in a wet market in Wuhan.

Then, on 11 February 2020, International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) announced the name of the new virus: “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)”.  This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. While related, the two viruses are different.   

On that same day, World Health Organization (WHO) announced “COVID-19” as the name of the new disease on 11 Feb 2020.

Below are a few links to a comprehensive timeline of the COVID-19:


How does the virus spread?

Below are some ways the virus can spread:

  • respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
  • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

And, below are some myths on how the virus can spread:

  • FALSE: 5G mobile networks can spread COVID-19. No, just because it’s 5G does not make it capable of spreading the virus. It has to spread through physical means - meaning you can only get infected through touching, breathing in, or consuming a respiratory droplet.
  • FALSE: Mosquito bites or flies can spread COVID-19. Again, COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets. To date, these is no evidence or information to suggest that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through flies or mosquitoes.
  • FALSE: Dogs are high-risk and should be removed from a COVID-19 household immediately. Dogs (and pets in general) are NOT high risk. There has been positive cases but natural infection rates between human caretaker to pets appear extremely rare.


Can dogs get coronavirus and can they spread the virus?

The short answer is yes, they can. However, the virus is NOT believed to be a health treat to dogs. They can test positive for the virus, but in most cases the dogs do not show any signs of illness for the virus.

Although dogs are able to spread the virus, the chances of them doing so are extremely rare. You do NOT need to fear infections from your pet, as the natural infection rates appear rare.

But this still means that you should NOT eat dinner, with your dog, off of the same plate. You should not ever do that, ever. With or without the threat of a virus. No matter how much you love your pet. It’s gross.


How can you keep your dog safe?

CDC recommendation is for anyone to stay 6 feet away from any living thing - and this includes dogs, just to be on the safe side. If you are sick with COVID-19, limit interactions with your dog, if possible.

Nonetheless, it is highly unlikely that recommendations would ever push for removing the pet from its owner.




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