David Haworth, DVM, PhD
DOGTV Board Member
President, Vidium Animal Health
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is on everyone's mind these days. There is a lot that we still don't know about the virus, but there is a lot that we do know, or that we can safely assume. From our DOGTV pack, there have been several questions posed about the risks for and from our beloved pets. Most importantly, according to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control, no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19. Most viruses are very specific regarding the types of cells and the species of animal in which they can replicate, and there is no evidence that the virus responsible for COVID-19 can be replicated in our pets. That being said, pets can theoretically serve as "passive carriers", where the virus could be carried by them for a short period of time if unintentionally put there by an infected person, so recommendations are for sick people to limit their interactions with pets who could potentially expose other people to the virus. Also, frequent hand-washing as well as avoiding touching your mouth, nose or eyes will help limit the spread of the virus. Helpful information on this topic is provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control here and the American Veterinary Medical Association here. During this time of heightened anxiety and limited social interactions, our pets serve as critical emotional support providers. There is no evidence that dogs can spread the disease, and there is plenty of evidence that they have positive effects on our lives. So feel free to snuggle away with your dog, and use common sense when actually exhibiting symptoms to help everyone weather this time as safely as possible.
All the best,
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Coronavirus + Dogs
David Haworth DVM, PhD answers your questions about Coronavirus and dogs.
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