Can Dogs Get (or Transmit) COVID-19?

Several weeks ago, some alarm followed reports of a dog in Hong Kong that seemed to carry the novel coronavirus.

Since then, we’ve learned a lot, but not nearly enough, about this highly contagious virus.

Can dogs carry the virus and transmit it to their humans? Can dogs get sick with it?

  • The CDC states that there is no evidence that pets have become infected from contact with infected humans, but recommends good hygiene around pets (of course!); a small number of pets have been found to test positive after contact with an infected person, but there is no known pet-to-human transmission of COVID-19. Find more info from the CDC on COVID-19 and pets on their FAQ.
  • There is also no evidence that humans can or have gotten COVID-19 from pets.
  • It does not seem to sicken dogs.
  • There is some evidence that cats and ferrets might transmit the virus to other cats / ferrets, but that was in “lab experiments in which a small number of animals were deliberately given high doses of the virus” and not cause for alarm; that information is from a recently published, not peer-reviewed, study.

In any case, humans who are infected should limit interactions with pets as well as with other humans and wash their hands frequently.

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