Coronavirus in Dogs: What You Need to Know
Despite the near constant flow of information, there’s still plenty of questions that probably still feel unanswered. Can your dog get infected? Can a dog infect you? What should you do to keep both your pup and yourself safe and healthy? The health and wellbeing of your pets will always remain our top priority.
First, the most important fact: There’s no evidence that dogs can spread COVID-19 to humans, according to the World Health Organization and many other experts.
We gathered some general guidelines from our partners at Banfield Pet Hospital and Waltham Petcare Science Institute, for keeping you and your pet safe. For the latest findings and recommendations, please visit Banfield Pet Hospital and Waltham Petcare Science Institute directly.
What can you do with what you know?
In addition to following public health officials’ recommendations regarding quarantining infected people from pets, here are some general guidelines every pet owner should follow:
- Wash your hands before and after interacting with your pet; this reduces the transfer of dirt and germs between you and your pet.
- Protect your skin from direct contact with animal feces. Wear vinyl household cleaning gloves or a plastic bag when cleaning up after a pet.
- Avoid contact with wildlife, including those kept as pets, or potentially infected persons by keeping pets on a leash and otherwise indoors or in enclosed outdoor spaces such as a fenced in yard or kennel.
- Routinely clean and disinfect animal contact surfaces such as cages and feeding areas, as well as immediately after contact with high-risk animals, such as wildlife and stray or free-roaming dogs and cats.
- Promptly wash bites and scratches caused by animals. Don’t allow pets to lick open wounds, cuts or medical devices.
- Pets shouldn’t lick the faces of young children and immunocompromised patients.
- If your pet shows signs of not feeling well, contact your vet; they can advise you on whether to come in for an appointment.
- Follow general best practices for yourself, including routine hand hygiene. If you feel like you are developing flu-like symptoms, stay home and call your medical provider for advice on next steps.
Again, the CDC recommends you avoid contact with both pets and people if you should test positive with COVID-19. At this point we understand that the virus that causes COVID-19 is most efficiently spread via human-to-human contact and we now know it can also be spread human-to-animal, so it’s essential to treat pets as we would any family member and keep them virus-free.
To get the latest information, always refer to reliable sources like the ones listed below. Stay informed, stay calm, and enjoy your quality time with your family and pet. For more information, visit:
- Banfield Pet Hospital: COVID-19 Resource Center
- Waltham Petcare Science Institute: Pets and the Coronavirus: Information and Tips
- World Small Animal Veterinary Association: Coronavirus and Companion Animals Advice
- World Organization for Animal Health (OIE): Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
For more in depth information, including an FAQ and regular updates, visit Banfield Pet Hospital's COVID-19 Resource Center.