Downeast Dog News

COVID-19 Will My Dog Get It?

By Judith K. Herman DVM, CVH | Mar 10, 2020

Q. My cousin lives in Seattle and she is telling me my dog can get COVID-19 and pass it on to me, and I shouldn’t touch her. Is that true!? I can’t live without hugging my Fluffy.

A. There are many rumors and misinformation out there on COVID-19. The best advice is to not panic! To find the most up to date and accurate information and recommendations, go to the CDC or WHO websites.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association offered this information on February 29, 2020:

“Reports from Hong Kong on February 28, indicated that the pet dog of an infected patient had tested ‘weakly positive’ to COVID-19 after routine testing. The Hong Kong SAR Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has reported that the dog, which is showing no relevant clinical signs, has been quarantined and further samples will be collected to confirm if the dog is actually infected with the virus, or if the test result has been caused by environmental contamination.

The AFCD’s website further states that it ‘does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people’. WSAVA urges pet owners in areas where there are known human cases of COVID-19 to continue to follow the information in its advisory, including washing their hands before interacting with their pets and, if sick, wearing face masks around them.”

The CDC came out with this statement March 3rd, 2020:

“...there is no evidence that “pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people,”…

For pet owners in areas where human cases have been identified, WSAVA’s advice is to continue to take standard precautions: wash your hands before and after interacting with your pet, and, if you are sick, wear a face mask when around it.

The CDC provides this advice for pet owners: “You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask.”

Now that the WHO (World Health Organization) has designated COVID-19 as a pandemic, we need to follow the CDC’s general procedures, which we should do whenever we are sick with the flu, colds, Kennel Cough, etc.

It is easy to find accurate information and not someone’s opinion by going to Google and typing in COVD-19. You will see the top references are from the CDC and WHO (World Health Organization). These sites are accurate and will have the best up to date information.

To keep you and your best friend healthy, follow these simple practices: eat fresh wholesome food, avoid toxins the best you can, maximize positive interactions, play outside in the fresh air, and have plenty of rest. Wash your hands often and try to avoid touching your face.


Judith K. Herman DVM, CVH

Animal Wellness Center

Augusta, ME