Service dogs or pets do not spread COVID-19

Dog face and nose

Science says service animals, like “seeing eye dogs”, cannot spread Coronavirus

We received an inquiry from a member who asked if animals who accompany clients, could spread COVID-19. We wanted to share our findings with you.

It turns out that typical domestic animals such as dogs, cats, and even ferrets, can actually become ill with COVID-19. That is so say, they can catch the virus and exhibit symptoms.

Symptoms can include:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty breathing
  • vomiting or diarrhea
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However, the good news is that animals cannot readily transmit COVID-19 to humans. In fact, only cats and ferrets can transmit COVID-19 to cats and ferrets, however, dogs only catch the virus and do not spread to humans nor other dogs. According to the Government of Canada, the research shows viruses stick with animals and not spread to humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention back up the claim.

WorkSafeBC says that service animals should not be restricted in workplaces, and if owners choose to refuse service animals, they should seek legal advice. If you are a member, we recommend our workplace lawyer partner.

If you have an animal in your location, you can assure your clients there is minimal risk of any transmission of COVID-19. So if you have a cute little dog who loves to greet your clients, it’s OK to have them get up close and personal just like always.