Can Humans Get Parvo From Dogs?

Written by: Milica Brzakovic
Should getting the parvovirus from dogs be something to worry about or is this impossible? This article will give you an answer, and discover more about this particular virus.

Parvovirus, better known as parvo, is often deadly to puppies but is it dangerous for humans as well?

Humans can get affected by parvovirus, but in most cases, it will result in mild symptoms.

Can people get parvo? Yes.
Can people get parvo from dogs? No.
Can dogs get parvo from humans? Yes.

People can suffer from parvo, but not the same kind as dogs. This is why dogs can’t transmit their form of the virus to us.

Humans can suffer from parvo, but not the same kind as dogs. This is why dogs can’t transmit their form of the virus to us.

This goes the other way as well – we can’t transmit our form of the virus, called the B19 virus, to dogs or other animals.

Let’s elaborate on this further.

Can Humans Get Parvo From Dogs?

Parvo is contagious to people, but dog parvo isn’t contagious to people.

Shortly, humans can not get parvo from their dogs.

Parvovirus infection in humans is most common in children, and especially in the winter and spring months.

It spreads through respiratory secretions, as well as with contact.

Parvovirus can also spread through the blood, so infected mothers can pass the virus to their babies.

Elementary-school children are more likely to get parvo, they are the ones that usually show all of these symptoms when infected with this virus.

How do humans get parvo?

Parvo (parvovirus B19 that humans can get) spreads through respiratory secretions, such as saliva, when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

What are the symptoms of parvo in humans?

Parvovirus infection in people is commonly followed by these symptoms:

  • Swollen joints
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Arthritis

Now, let’s see what are the symptoms of parvo in dogs and if it is safe for people to touch the dog with parvo.

Do Dogs Survive Parvo?

Parvo is a disease that dog owners usually know a lot about it.

Since there is a concrete vaccine that can protect dogs, veterinaries do their best to communicate the importance of dog vaccination.

Since there is a vaccine that keeps dogs safe from parvo, little is knowns about how fatal parvo is.

According to AKC, ‘the survival rate of dogs treated by a veterinarian is 68 to 92 percent although the good news is that puppies that survive 3 to 4 days make a complete recovery.

Can You Touch A Dog With Parvo?

You can touch a dog with parvo, but it would be wise to use gloves.

Parvo can be transmitted on the hand and clothes and this is how people can spread it to other dogs.

This can happen when people have recently come into contact with an infected dog.

If you touch a dog with parvo and you have a puppy at home, make sure that you wash your hands and remove your clothes before you touch your puppy.

Pro tip: The best way to keep parvo away from your dog is to avoid touching unvaccinated dogs for around 6 weeks after a dog has recovered from parvo.

If you are still thinking – Can parvo hurt humans, know that parvo from dogs cannot hurt people, nor humans can get parvo from a dog.

What Happens If You Touch A Dog With Parvo?

If a dog touches any area that is infected with parvo, such as dog bedding, water bowls, carpet, or kennel, there are chances of a dog catching the virus.

When you touch a dog with parvo, all you have to do is to make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly and remove your clothes safely.

Still, the best way to keep your dog safe is to protect him by vaccinating him.

Parvovirus Basics

Parvo is a rather new disease among dogs, dating back to the 70s.

However, in the relatively short period of its existence, it has caused a lot of fatal outcomes among dogs.

Fortunately, there is a great way to prevent this – vaccination!

This disease is most common among puppies and older dogs, but it doesn’t mean that adult dogs are immune.

No non-vaccinated dog is. Not only that – this is a highly contagious disease that’s 80 percent fatal!

Parvo is extremely persistent and can survive for months, even on furniture and clothes.

The most common symptoms of parvo in dogs are:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Fever
  • Low body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Anorexia

Good to know: Older dogs may not show symptoms of parvo at all.

These symptoms are not that particular and can indicate many problems, which is why it’s so important to take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice anything.

Parvo In Dogs: Causes

According to dogtime and other relevant sources, parvo is a very simple virus formed of a single strand of DNA. As a very simple virus, parvo is highly resilient.

Some claim that parvo can live up to 12 months in the ground.

Parvovirus is highly contagious, and the best way to keep your dog parvo-free is to conduct proper vaccination.

Parvo In Dogs: Treatment

For dogs, parvo is a highly dangerous vital. However, it can be treated if noticed on time.

So far there are no pharmaceuticals for killing this virus making the treatment very simple.

The best treatment for parvo in dogs includes controlling symptoms and boosting the immune system.

Affected dogs are usually hospitalized for about 5-7 days.

While there, they will receive antibiotics, various drugs controlling vomiting and diarrhea, and intravenous drops.

Again, this can be avoided if you vaccinate your dog while he is still a puppy.

Proper puppy vaccination is the best way to keep your dog healthy in the long run.

Can A Dog Get Parvo From Human Contact?

Simply said, yes. Parvo is highly contagious and if a person carries it, on clothes, for example, the virus can be spread to dogs just by touching them.

Does this mean that a gentle and short pat on the head can present a start of infectious start? Yes, this short movement can be the start of a life-threatening condition.

Check out this video below which will help you recognize parvo in your dog!


Parvo is a highly contagious and dangerous virus that can affect any dog, but it’s usually puppies that get infected.

Fortunately, vaccination protects dogs from getting sick which is why it’s mandatory for all puppies! Don’t skip the DHPP vaccine and you won’t have to deal with this dangerous disease.

Even though parvo is very easy to transmit among dogs, people can’t get affected.

There are a lot of different parvoviruses for different species, and humans too have their own form. This is why dogs can’t transmit their version of the virus and vice versa.

It’s important to note that humans do play a big role in transmitting the disease from dog to dog if they’re in contact with an infected dog.

As mentioned, the virus is resistant and can survive on clothes and objects for a really long time.

Once again – make sure to vaccinate your dog and avoid this hassle altogether!

Frequently Asked Questions On Parvo Among Dogs And People

1. How Can Humans Get Parvo?

The only way for humans to get parvo is through transmission. Parvo can spread through respiratory secretions, such as saliva.

Parvo can also spread through nasal mucus or sneezes and coughs of an infected person.

Can parvo transmit through blood? Yes. Parvo can be easily transmitted not only through blood but through blood products as well. How so?

For example: If a pregnant woman is infected with parvo she can pass the virus to her baby.

2. How Long Can Parvo Live On Clothes?

So far it’s known that parvo can stick to clothes and other surfaces, such as dog bowls.

This virus needs only three to four days to become widespread throughout the body, while it can remain stuck on clothes for up to 5 to 6 months.

3. Can People Transmit Parvo Among Dogs?

Even though people can’t get parvo from dogs, and vice versa, there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget – people transmit parvo from one dog to another.

Namely, people who are in contact with an infected dog can easily transmit it if they come in contact with another dog.

As mentioned, this virus is extremely tough and can live for a long time not only in dogs but on objects as well.

So, the virus can be carried on clothes, shoes, or any other object you may carry.

Naturally, being as contagious as it is, it will easily be transmitted to dogs who are not vaccinated.

The best way to prevent this from happening is vaccination.

Protection against parvo is included in the DHPP vaccine which should be a core vaccine.

Puppies should first receive it when they’re 6-10 weeks old, after which they should receive at least one more vaccine for full effect.

When it comes to disinfecting objects, it won’t be enough solely to apply a regular disinfectant. A mix of bleach and water is the best way to destroy the virus.