Can Humans Get Parvo From Dogs?

Should getting the parvovirus from dogs be something to worry about or is this impossible? This article will give you an answer, as well as discover more about this particular virus.

Canine parvovirus is a common infectious disease, especially among puppies.

As such, it spreads easily among dogs through direct contact or via infected feces.

Being that contagious, the question is – can humans get it from their pets as well?

Some diseases can only be transmitted among animals, while other can affect both animals and humans. The latter are called zoonotic – designing the disease’s capacity of going from animals to humans and vice versa. Our article today focuses on the parvovirus and will answer the following question – can dogs transmit this virus to us?

But before we do that, let’s find out more about this virus!

What Is The Parvovirus?

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 are the following:

It’s also possible for older dogs not to show symptoms at all. In more serious cases, however, the symptoms mentioned above will occur. 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.

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

Can Parvovirus in Dogs Be Treated?

Although this disease can be fatal, it’s still possible to treat it if you react in time. There are no pharmaceuticals for killing this virus as of yet, so the treatment is straightforward. It consists of controlling the symptoms and boosting the immune system.

Affected dogs are usually hospitalized for about 5-7 days. Well there, they will receive antibiotics, various drugs controlling vomiting and diarrhea and intravenous drops. However, this isn’t something you and your dog have to endure as you can simply solve it by vaccinating your dog as a puppy!

What’s Causing Parvo?

In fact, a very simple virus is behind it, according to dogtime. The virus is in the form of a single strand of DNA, without the protection of a sheath of fat. Interestingly enough, this makes it a very stubborn virus which is really hard to kill.

Parvo can in fact design many different viruses, depending on the target. In dogs, a mutant called CPV-2 is behind it. It appeared out of the blue in 1978, after which a mutation of it appeared a year later and caused an epidemic among dogs. Fortunately, proper vaccination was established.

However, it’s important to understand that different species suffer from different kinds of parvo, which will make answering our question of the day much easier!

Can Humans Get Parvo?

The answer is yes. Humans can suffer from Parvovirus just like canines can. However, the type of virus causing it as well as symptoms are different.

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 blood which means that infected mothers can pass the virus to their babies. Unfortunately it is difficult to understand when parvo infected people are most contagious since the virus spreads during the week before the rash appears.

A Parvovirus infection in humans is often associated with following signs:

  • Fever
  • Upset Stomach
  • Headache
  • Runny Nose
  • Distinctive Facial Rash
  • Joint Soreness

Since 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. However, the distinctive facial rash, as well as other signs, may not appear in adults infected with parvo. Instead, they usually show only weaker symptoms such as joint soreness.

Can Humans Get Parvo From Dogs?

Considering the fact that the parvovirus belongs to a family of viruses, more precisely the Parvoviridae family, there are different types of parvovirus among different species. There are approximately dozens different types of this virus, each characteristic for a different species.

Is parvo contagious to humans? Yes.

But, is dog parvo contagious to humans? The answer to our question is – no.

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.

But even though we now know that’s impossible, there’s still one more thing you should think about.

Can People Transmit Parvo Among Dogs?

Even though people can’t get parvo from from dogs, and vice versa, there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget – people transmitting 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 naturally 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.


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. However, 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 really 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 all together!