Dogs can contract coronaviruses, most commonly the canine respiratory coronavirus. This specific novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is not believed to be a health threat to dogs, but they can test positive for it, which is alarming for many pet owners.

Can your dog spread COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, “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, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Using a face mask can also help to reduce the spread of infected droplets.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “while this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is 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.”

The CDC urges pet owners who test positive for the virus to avoid contact with their pets while they are ill.

How can you protect your dog while battling the virus?

It is recommended that dog owners who test positive for the virus follow basic hygiene and commonsense rules to keep their pet safe:

  • Make sure to wear a face mask and wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before and after touching your dog
  • It might be best to have someone else care for your dog during your illness
  • Try not to pet, kiss, cuddle, share food, or bedding with your dog
  • Steer clear of dog parks or public places where crowds of people and dogs gather
  • Stop folks from petting your dog while you’re walking it
  • Practice social distancing when walking your dog

During this pandemic, many folks are leaving their shoes at the entrance of their homes to keep the virus outdoors. So, consider wiping your dog’s fur and paws with grooming wipes before they enter the house. Experts also say dogs do not need a face mask to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Under no circumstances should owners abandon their dogs, cats, or other pets because of COVID-19 fears.

If you notice your dog’s health has changed, contact your veterinarian to advise you on what to do.

For more information, contact the Humane Society of the United States.