A pomeranian in Hong Kong recently made news after testing positive for the novel coronavirus that was first detected in China. The dog's owner had previously tested positive for COVID-19, and concerns quickly mounted that dogs may be a new source of infection.
Can domestic dogs catch and fall ill from the highly contagious respiratory virus circulating the globe? Can your four-legged best friend infect you with the virus? Here is everything you need to know.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that there is no evidence dogs or cats are a source of COVID-19 infection. As of April 1, 2019, the CDC had not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.
Yes, the virus initially came from an animal source, but the CDC stresses that the novel coronavirus is currently being transmitted on a human-to-human level.
The 17-year old pomeranian tested "weak positive" for COVID-19 after its owner received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in late February 2020. It was originally believed that this "weak positive" reading was due to traces of the virus on the dog's nose and mouth, although it was later determined the pomeranian did indeed have a low level coronavirus infection.
Per CNN, "experts from the University of Hong Kong, City University and the World Organisation for Animal Health had been consulted, and all 'unanimously agreed that these results suggest that the dog has a low level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission.'"
In late March 2020, a pet cat in Hong Kong tested positive for COVID-19 despite showing no symptoms of illness. A cat in Belgium also recently tested positive for COVID-19 after its owner became infected with the virus. Both cats had no symptoms of illness, and no evidence suggests that the cats are able to pass on the virus to humans.
Experts continue to believe that the risk of COVID-19 infection in pets is low and, importantly, the risk of transmission from animal-to-human is very unlikely. Human-to-human transmission by far remains the greatest risk of infection.
Yes, but the testing of pets is very limited right now and is only being done on a rare case-by-case basis. Routine testing of animals is not currently being done.
Although the CDC states dog-to-human transmission of COVID-19 has not been documented, it recommends avoiding close contact with your pet if you become infected with the virus. There are still a lot of unknowns about COVID-19, so the CDC recommends having a family or friend take care of your pet should you fall ill to the virus.
If you don't have assistance and need to care for your pet yourself, consider wearing a mask and practice frequent hand washing (warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds).
Are you looking to fly in-cabin with your dog or cat to Hawaii without the risk of quarantine? In this DJANGO Dog Blog article we provide a comprehensive overview of Hawaii's pre-arrival pet requirements (including required documentation) and explain how to qualify your pet for Direct Airport Release. Our goal is to get you and your four-legged friend to Hawaii safely, smoothly, and without any risk of quarantine.
Is the cargo area safe for pet travel? Will dogs too large for in-cabin pet travel be comfortable in the hold of the plane?
There are preconceived notions that cargo pet travel is unsafe, stressful, and something to be avoided. Rather than jump to this conclusion ourselves, we did a lot of research to better understand pet travel in cargo: what cargo pet travel actually is, potential risks and hazards with putting dogs or cats in cargo, and recent statistics on pet safety.