Canine coronavirus infection is highly contagious among dogs, with common symptoms such as fever, vomiting, and loss of appetite. In most cases, the virus runs its course … and then the patient is fine. A vaccine against canine coronavirus is available, but it’s not part of the routinely recommended vaccines for most dogs.


Coronavirus infection is a highly contagious infection of puppies and older dogs that primarily attacks the intestinal tract. The disease is spread from dog to dog through contact with feces.

Vaccine Characteristics

A vaccine is available to prevent canine coronavirus infection. This vaccine may be included in combination vaccines that also protect dogs from canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus (CPV-2), and canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2).

The American Animal Hospital Association has grouped vaccines for dogs into three general categories – “core,” (all dogs should receive the vaccine), “non-core” (recommendation is based on risk for exposure to the disease), and “not recommended”. The canine coronavirus vaccine has been included in this third category. Categorization as “not recommended” does not mean the vaccine is bad or dangerous – it simply means that widespread use is not generally recommended among pet dogs. However, your veterinarian is always the best guide for making vaccination decisions.


This vaccine is administered by subcutaneous injection.


Administering a vaccine is a medical procedure, and there are times when a vaccine may not be recommended. For example, your veterinarian may advise against vaccinating an animal that is currently sick, pregnant, or may not have adequate immune system functioning to respond to a vaccination. For pets with a previous history of vaccine reactions, the potential risk of a future vaccine reaction should be weighed against the potential benefits of vaccination. These and other issues are evaluated when deciding what is best for your pet.


Coronavirus is spread through contact with fecal material from infected dogs, so separating sick dogs from healthy ones can help reduce disease spread. Coronavirus can be killed by many types of household disinfectants (including diluted bleach solution), so cleaning contaminated areas and bedding is also recommended.

If a dog becomes infected with coronavirus, clinical signs of disease tend to be mild and self-limiting.


AAHA vaccine guidelines 

This article was reviewed by a Veterinarian.