Can dogs get COVID-19? Everything we know about the symptoms of corona virus and pet infections

Covid-19 cases are becoming a major concern for the public once again.

Hundreds of thousands of people are infected every week, which means that some pets may also be at risk.

But can a dog get Covid, and if so, what happens? Here’s everything you need to know.

Can Covid be transmitted from humans to animals?

Yes, there have been cases where animals have contracted Covid.

The US CDC says: “The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from humans to animals during close contact.

Pets around the world, including cats and dogs, have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, often after close contact with people who have COVID-19.

Infected animals reported to the CDC include:

  • Companion animals, including cats, dogs, and rodents
  • Animals in zoos and reserves, including several species of big cats, otters, non-human primates, binturong, coatimundi, hunting cat, and hyenas
  • Mink in mink farms
  • Wild white-tailed deer in several US states

You can find the latest government guidance on how to continue caring for animals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says: “If you are sick with Covid-19 (whether suspected or confirmed through a test), you should avoid contact with your pets and other animals, just as you would with people. Contact includes caress, petting kissing, licking, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.”

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Can dogs get COVID-19?

Yes dogs can catch the virus, but it is rare again.

The UK reported its first dog case of Covid in November last year.

The government said evidence indicated the animal was obtained from owners who had previously tested positive.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advice is for people to wash their hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.

Lead veterinarian Christine Middlemis said: “Dogs are very rare for infection, they usually only show mild clinical signs and recover within a few days.

There is no clear evidence to suggest that pets transmit the virus directly to humans. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and will update our guidance for pet owners if the situation changes.”

It is advised to wash your hands when handling pets and to avoid close contact if you have COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of pets?

The CDC says, “Pets infected with this virus may or may not get sick. Of the pets that did get sick, most had mild illness and made a full recovery. Serious illness in pets is extremely rare.”

He adds that animals infected with the virus may have:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Lethargy (unusual lack of energy or lethargy)
  • sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • eye discharge
  • vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you think your animal has Covid disease, you should contact your vet.

The British Veterinary Association says: “If you suspect your pet has coronavirus, your vet will need to rule out other causes for their symptoms first.

“Government advice is that pet owners in homes with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, who believe their pet may need veterinary treatment, should contact the practice first and alert them to the family’s condition.”

Can Covid be transmitted from animals to humans?

More studies need to be done, but scientists don’t think catching Covid from animals poses a significant risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is currently no evidence that “animals play a significant role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, to humans.”

But, she adds, “Further studies are needed to understand whether and how different animals can be affected by SARS-CoV-2.”

Some coronaviruses that infect animals can pass to humans and then spread between people, but this is rare. That’s what happened with SARS-CoV-2, which likely originated in bats.”

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