Can dogs catch coronavirus from humans and vice versa?

With recent media news reports on the case of the Chinese dog tested for coronavirus, many dog lovers the world over might be forgiven for being concerned whether the disease can be passed between humans and animals. While coronavirus is a canine disease, it is not the same one as that found in humans and neither disease can be passed between human or dog.  In this article, Holidays4Dogs tracks down some facts about the new coronavirus and its relevance to companion animals.

Last month, Hong Kong officials placed a Pomeranian dog in quarantine after it was believed to have shown signs of being contaminated with coronavirus.  However, according to Professor Jonathan Ball, a molecular virologist from Nottingham University, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that dogs (or cats) can transmit the virus to humans and voiced bafflement as to why the dog was even tested in the first place.

The president of the British Veterinary Association has also confirmed that there is no evidence to say that pets can be infected with the current human coronavirus.

Indeed, scientists the world over agree that coronavirus, which can occur in every type of animal and is commonly associated with short term intestinal and respiratory infections, does not cross from one species to another.

In short, therefore, No – coronavirus cannot be caught from your dog and your dog cannot catch it from humans.  In addition, while there are vaccines available for canine coronavirus the World Small Animal Veterinary Association based in Canada, advises in its recent advisory document that, “veterinarians should NOT use such vaccines in the face of the current outbreak thinking that there may be some form of cross-protection against COVID-19”  Furthermore, they state that canine coronavirus vaccines are for use against enteric coronavirus infection and are not licensed for protection against respiratory infections. You can read the full report here: https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/COVID-19_WSAVA-Advisory-Document-Feb-29-2020.pdf

For up to date information on COVID-19 see the recommendations on the world Health Organization website: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/