Everything you need to know about coronavirus in dogs

Everything you need to know about coronavirus in dogs


The lives of all of us have been affected, directly or indirectly, by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since this coronavirus began to rage across the planet, we have seen our habits change. Once unrecognized, this type of virus is now on everyone's lips.


Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable when watching a movie and people are less than 2 meters apart, and without a mask? Our hygiene measures have definitely evolved over the past year. Should we also be careful around the neighborhood dogs?


Thanks to my years of experience in a vet clinic, I knew of coronaviruses long before the famous SARS-CoV-2, responsible for COVID-19. In fact, there are up to 40 forms of coronavirus and several can affect our pets. Our dogs, in particular, are at risk of contracting certain types of coronavirus which mainly cause digestive symptoms.


But what about COVID-19 in dogs? Should you take extra precautions to protect your dog from this disease? Could you get COVID-19 from contact with a COVID-positive dog? How do you know if your dog has coronavirus? What are other forms of canine coronavirus (CCoV) ?


Answers to all your questions follow below.



Can dogs get coronavirus?


You now know that certain types of coronavirus can infect our dogs. But what about COVID-19? The amount of research and information on the subject is still limited, but there is every reason to believe that the virus can be transmitted to animals in certain situations, mainly through direct contact with an infected person.



Can dogs get coronavirus from humans?


The first case of COVID-19 reported in an animal in the United States was a tiger in a New York zoo that showed signs of breathing difficulties following contact with a sick employee. Since then, a small number of dogs, cats and other mammals in several countries have reportedly tested positive for the virus. This suggests that COVID-19 can possibly spread to pets.


Routine screening is not yet recommended in animals. It is therefore possible that positive cases will not be discovered. The majority of positive cases in animals have been tested in a laboratory setting, on a small number of animals. It’s therefore unwise to draw any conclusions at this time.


Personally, since the start of the pandemic, I have not seen any dogs that tested positive for COVID-19 at the vet clinic where I work.


If your dog gets sick and you suspect it might be COVID-19, call your vet. They will probably recommend a consultation over the phone.



Can coronavirus in dogs spread to humans?


So far, studies have not proven the potential for transmission of COVID-19 from dogs to humans. In addition, the transmission of COVID-19 between dogs also appears to be rather low.


We know that dogs can carry bacteria and fungi on their fur, but there is no evidence that viruses are carried on dogs in this way. In any case, you should never clean your pet's coat with hand sanitizer. They are toxic to dogs.


As for the canine coronavirus discussed below, it is only contagious between dogs.


Read on for more details on this disease and to learn about natural solutions for viruses and infections that your dog might catch.



What is canine coronavirus?


Several types of coronavirus can infect dogs, but when we talk about canine coronavirus infections, we are most often referring to CCoV, which is a highly contagious infectious disease of the intestines. There is also a type of coronavirus (CRCoV) that causes respiratory symptoms in dogs (cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing). This canine respiratory coronavirus is often part of the well-known kennel cough complex.


The canine coronavirus, or CCoV, most commonly affects puppies, and can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea for a few days. Since there are several causes of diarrhea, coronavirus is rarely diagnosed and sometimes confused with the famous parvovirus. Canine coronavirus is generally well tolerated by dogs but can be fatal when it infects the puppy at the same time as parvovirus or another disease.



Coronavirus symptoms in dogs


As mentioned above, canine coronavirus mainly causes gastrointestinal symptoms. But you may be wondering what are other signs of coronavirus in dogs. Here is a non-exhaustive list of symptoms of canine coronavirus in dogs:


  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loose stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low energy
  • Vomiting (less common)
  • Fever


It’s important to contact your vet if your puppy has diarrhea over a period of more than 24 hours, since they can become dehydrated quite easily.


Coronavirus transmission in dogs


Intestinal-type canine coronavirus is transmitted primarily through oral contact with infected fecal matter. A puppy does not need to eat a stool to become infected (sorry if you are eating)! Your dog only needs to walk outside on a contaminated surface and then groom itself by licking its paws and then, presto, the virus takes hold.


A dog could also contract the virus through direct contact with an infected dog, or by eating from a contaminated bowl. Places where there are a lot of dogs and particularly dirty places are therefore prime places for the virus (I am thinking of puppy mills for example).



How do you treat and prevent coronavirus in dogs?


As the name suggests, coronavirus is a virus and not a bacteria. So, like any good virus, it cannot be cured with antibiotics. Antibiotics are only useful for secondary bacterial infections.


If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, it may be beneficial to have your dog fast from eating food for 24 hours (while making sure that water is always available) and then gradually reintroducing easily digestible foods in small quantities. Canned food is beneficial in these cases for its high water content.


In more severe cases of diarrhea, your puppy may need intravenous fluids to cure its dehydration.


Canine coronavirus vaccine


A vaccine exists against the canine coronavirus. That said, it’s not part of the primary puppy vaccinations in all vet clinics. In terms of price, these canine coronavirus vaccines are generally not very expensive (around $25 each), but require a vet check-up and monthly boosters at an early age.


The views in the veterinary world on the canine coronavirus vaccine are mixed, since the virus is particularly dangerous for very young puppies, however, puppies of vaccine age often have strong enough immune systems to fight it off on their own.


Natural canine coronavirus treatment


One of the best ways to fight any virus is to strengthen the immune system. This then helps the body to fight off the intruder on its own.


When you have a puppy that has diarrhea, probiotics added to easily digestible food can go a long way in helping them to maintain adequate bacterial flora in their intestines. Probiotics will help them to more quickly regain good digestive health.


Virus defense kit


This set of remedies is the ultimate tool for fighting a virus, no matter its nature. It’s made up of IMMUNOPET, SILVERPET and CORDYCEPS which are some of our best allies in strengthening the immune system.


IMMUNOPET stimulates the production of white blood cells in the body to help the body fight intruders on its own, while SILVERPET acts as a natural antibiotic and antiviral thanks to its base ingredient - colloidal silver. As for CORDYCEPS, it’s a remedy composed of a medicinal mushroom as the active ingredient. It greatly helps support the animal's immune system, while promoting appetite and energy gain.





In summary, dogs can possibly contract COVID-19. On the other hand, the canine coronavirus is more common and potentially more dangerous for them.


Have you been infected with COVID-19 and have a dog at home? We're curious, have they developed any symptoms? Share your comments with us in the section below.


Complete this form for a free consultation with one of our natural animal health experts. They will be happy to give you personalized advice for your animals.


About the Author

Veronique Fournier

Véronique Fournier uses her extensive knowledge to write articles about pet health for HomeoAnimal.

She earned her degree in Animal Health from Cégep La Pocatière in Quebec. Her experience includes internships on animal production farms and rehabilitating birds of prey; managing the care of up to 100 wild animals in a day at the SOS Miss Dolittle Refuge; working at the Aquarium of Quebec, where she monitored 10,000 animals of 300 different species. She worked as a chief animal health technician in a veterinary clinic in British Columbia, as well as a few contracts in various other veterinary clinics.

She also makes lots of canine friends by volunteering at local shelters, fostering, and dog sitting for friends.

Feel free to contact me anytime at support@homeonanimal.com

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