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Dog Facts

Can dogs get the coronavirus?

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A dog in Hong Kong has an infection of the new coronavirus. Dog was placed into quarantine. No need to panic (yet).

A dog in Hong Kong was infected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and placed into quarantine.

It’s a low-level infection with the new coronavirus that the animal may have gotten from its owner, raising concerns that the virus can infect pets.

Initial test results could have been the product of environmental contamination, but a subsequent test on March 2, 2020, after the dog had been quarantined, was also positive. The dog still has not shown any signs of disease related to COVID-19. Another pet dog from another patient is also in quarantine, but has tested negative for the virus.

Dog’s tests were are only weakly positive, so it could be a dead-end host, meaning that the virus is not replicating at high enough levels in the dog to be transmitted. The tests also rely on detecting small bits of the virus’s genetic code, which does not measure whether infectious virus that can infect another host is present. Researchers are now analyzing the genetic blueprint of the dog’s virus to learn more about it and where it came from.

However, there is currently no evidence that pets can actually get sick from the virus or pass it to people or other animals so there is no reason for concern.

You should not confuse this new coronavirus (COVID-19) dog case with Canine coronavirus (CCoV) .

Again, there is no need to panic but since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. To reduce the spread of any germs, you may consider wiping your pet’s paws when they come in and out of the house.

The World Organisation for Animal Health advises pet owners infected or susceptible of being infected with the coronavirus to avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of the household care for the animals. If they must look after their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and wear a face mask if possible.

Dogs do not need a face mask to protect themselves against the coronavirus. If you are still concerned or notice a change in your dog, speak to a veterinarian.