The Coronavirus your dog can catch
With the near hysteria over the novel coronavirus affecting humans we’re hearing a lot of rumors about pets and this respiratory disease. Here’s the truth about Coronavirus and dogs.
There is a coronavirus that affects dogs but it is not the novel coronavirus infecting people right now. In dogs the coronavirus is a totally different thing. Per Petmd, canine coronavirus infection (CCV) is a highly contagious intestinal disease that can be found in dogs all around the world. This particular coronavirus is specific to both wild and domestic dogs. The coronavirus replicates itself inside the small intestine and is limited to the upper two-thirds of the small intestine and local lymph nodes. A CCV infection is generally considered to be a relatively mild disease with sporadic symptoms, or none at all. However, if combined with canine parvovirus it can be much more serious and even deadly to vulnerable puppies.
The seven Coronaviruses that affect humans
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) there are seven coronaviruses that affect humans.
The CDC Lists these
Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface.
There are four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.
Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s. The seven coronaviruses that can infect people are:
Common human coronaviruses
- 229E (alpha coronavirus)
- NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
- OC43 (beta coronavirus)
- HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
- MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)
- SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS)
- SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19)
Other human coronaviruses
The good news about Coronavirus and dogs!
While dogs are susceptible to their own strains of coronavirus the Word Health Organization has good news. They state:
“At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.”
And while they do not believe you can catch or transmit the Novel Coronavirus now affecting humans, it’s still a good idea to wash your hands after touching your dogs. This will keep both you and the pups safer.
Use time at home to bond with your dog!
Since “social distancing” is all the rage now, why not use your time at home to really bond with your dog? You’re there, stuck inside and bored but your dog thinks it’s the best thing that’s ever happened. So, make it fun for both of you!
Playing with your dog builds engagement and that is exactly what, as a trainer, I encourage people to do with their dogs! Tug of war, hide and seek, and fetch are all games you can play inside (or in the backyard). Your dog will think he’s in heaven and you’ll forget you can’t go to a movie.
Training games are also a great way to spend time with your pup. Do relays of “sit,” “down,” “come,” and other commands. Be sure to use treats to motivate your dog and, if he does the commands really fast, jackpot him!
Don’t let this worry you
While it’s natural that we worry about our dogs in this stressful time, don’t let it get to you. This virus is going to pass as has every other epidemic. It has a very high recovery rate and, perhaps best of all, Novel Coronavirus and your dog do not go together. Relax, play with your dog, and we’ll see you on the other side.