Dogs can contract certain types of coronaviruses, such as the canine respiratory coronavirus, but this specific novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is believed to not be a threat to dogs.
The World Health Organization has stated, â€œWhile there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.â€
Li Lanjuan, an epidemiologist and representative of Chinaâ€™s National Health Commission cautioned pet owners in China to be vigilant about their own health and the health of their pets: â€œIf pets go out and have contact with an infected person, they have the chance to get infected. By then, pets need to be isolated. In addition to people, we should be careful with other mammals especially pets.â€
The CDC says that â€œwhile this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person.â€ The CDC recommends that people traveling to China avoid animals both live and dead, â€œbut there is no reason to think that any animals or pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this novel coronavirus.â€
While the one dog in Hong Kong has shown a â€œlow-level infectionâ€ with COVID-19 that is â€œlikely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission,â€ local government health officials emphasize that â€œthere is currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of COVID-19 or that they become sick.â€
Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the AKC, says, â€œThe CDC has not reported any cases of pets or other animals becoming infected with COVID-19 in the United States or anywhere else in the world, including hotbeds like Italy.â€ Dr. Klein urges common sense best practices when it comes to our pets: â€œIf you have children, you wouldnâ€™t have them touch a puppy and put their fingers in their mouth, because they can have fecal contamination,â€ he says. â€œThe general practice of washing our hands after touching a puppy or a dogâ€”thatâ€™s normal hygiene.â€