I have seen 1-5 cases a year where a cold has touched all family members. Usually, I have to tend to a coughing/sneezing dog only to find out a child has the sniffles or the owner was recovering from a cold.
Are there research papers in journals documenting the phenomenon? Not really? Namely, because it is hard to test. By the time you get a case where you think a dog may have been infected with a cold from family members, they usually shrug it off within a few days.
COVID-19 is no doubt a virus that has taken human lives. It has infected millions of people. Thank goodness its fatality rate overall is very low, though if your friend or family member succumbed to it, those stats are meaningless to you.
The first “documented” pet dying of COVID is a German Shepherd in July 2020. We have to put this in quotes because the dog had cancer (Lymphosarcoma). Supposedly it was coughing for months, and cancer spreading to the chest is common. Is this a case where COVID was infecting a compromised immune system? I am also skeptical because the PCR test has been under fire for its false positives, including lighting up on vegetables. COVID stories grab attention; hence, we have to take it all with a grain of salt.
We all would like to trust the CDC with information, but I am afraid politics has gotten in the way of things. The top guy the media goes to for COVID information, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been under fire for doublespeak, lying under oath, and poor record on past viral outbreaks. That being said, here is what the CDC says about dogs and COVID:
Dogs can get COVID-19 from people. Can dogs give people COVID? No one knows.
This general statement falls in line with my experience. We share some cold viruses with our pets due to close contact. COVID is a cold virus.
What should you do? Again, if you invest all your emotional eggs in what the CDC or WHO has to say, you should live like a hermit, double mask, and await instructions from your government agency. Do not mask the dog.
If you are skeptical, take a breath to review that it’s a cold virus, you do not suffer from debilitating conditions like cardiac issues, compromised immune systems, or are taking chemotherapy; you have a 99+ percent chance of surviving the infection anyway. Fear should not run your life. Take care of your cold. If your dog has a cold, take it to the vet. We got you covered.