Is your pet at risk of catching the novel coronavirus?

TORONTO — As photos of dogs wearing face masks pop up across social media, some are starting to ask if their beloved pet dog could catch the novel coronavirus.

According to multiple veterinary and health organizations, pet owners can breathe easy when it comes to COVID-19, as man’s best friend is not at risk of catching the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has put up a “myth buster” post on their website regarding domestic animals and the coronavirus, which confirmed that there have been no cases of the virus identified in pets.

“At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus,” the post reads.

WHO states that pet owners should be as vigilant with hand washing and other preventive measures as anyone else.

More than 66,000 cases of COVID-19 have been identified so far, with more than 1,500 deaths worldwide.


Dogs can catch certain types of coronavirus – specifically the “canine coronavirus.”

There is a canine respiratory coronavirus as well as a canine coronavirus disease that is based in the intestines. According to VCA Hospitals, the latter is passed from dog-to-dog and the main symptom is diarrhea.

Neither coronavirus affects humans, and can’t be passed to them.

“Coronavirus” references a family of related viruses, including animal-specific strains as well as those that cause illness in humans.

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