COVID-19 is not a health threat to dogs, but dogs can test positive for the virus.
The World Health Organization states, “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.” Covering your face with a cloth face covering can also help reduce the possibility of spreading droplets.
The CDC says that “while this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person.” Because of this type of spread, “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.”
Healthy pet owners in the U.S. should follow basic hygienic precautions such as washing their hands with soap and water before and after contact with any animal, including dogs and cats. If you test positive for COVID-19 or believe you have been exposed to the virus, the CDC has provided guidelines for pet care:
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick
- Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding
- If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them
According to the AVMA, petting a dog’s fur is a low risk. The AVMA’s Chief Veterinary Officer Gail Golab says, “We’re not overly concerned about people contracting COVID-19 through contact with dogs and cats.” And there’s science behind that: “The virus survives best on smooth surfaces, such as countertops and doorknobs,” Golab says. “Porous materials, such as pet fur, tend to absorb and trap pathogens, making it harder to contract them through touch.”
Article By: AKC Staff