With the worry of another potential threat of a virus circulating in the news, I thought I’d research this to understand if there is any threat to my dog’s health.

What I found

There isn’t much information on monkeypox and dogs, so one can only presume that’s a good thing.

However small, I have decided to share the key points of what I have learnt about monkeypox and dogs.

Dogs have not been known to have ever caught monkeypox. The virus is usually spread in and between monkeys, apes, humans, rats, mice, squirrels, rabbits and prairie dogs. Even though there are no known records of dogs contracting the infection to the present day, viruses are forever changing along with new data being available, so, it can’t be ruled out!

At present It seems that dogs cannot catch or pass on the infection—however, it could change.

It’s still good for us to understand how monkeypox is spread and how to avoid it. The below goes through some more details about the virus.


Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus that started in lab monkeys. That causes many symptoms in humans, such as headaches, muscle aches, rash and swollen lymph glands. It’s closely related to smallpox, chickenpox, cowpox, and the vaccinia virus.

Is there a known vaccine for monkeypox?

No, there is not a vaccine; however, the same vaccine used for smallpox has been known to be given and successfully treat monkeypox. Monkeypox is a milder virus compared to smallpox.

When was the first outbreak of monkeypox? 

The first known outbreak of monkeypox was in 2003 in the midwest of the United States. 

A total of 71 humans were found and reported to have monkeypox. The cause was imported exotic animals. 

Animals thought to have caused the outbreak was Gambian pouched rats that passed it onto prairie dogs and humans. 

How is monkeypox spread?

  • Broken Skin
  • Coming into close contact with humans or infected animals. 
  • Contact
  • Contaminated materials, like beds, towels, clothing
  • Lesions
  • Mucous membrane
  • Respiratory droplets
  • Skin Contact
  • Surfaces


  • Fever and chills  
  • Headache  
  • Itchiness  
  • Muscle aches and pains  
  • Rash of puss-filled spots  
  • Scabs  
  • Swollen lymph glands  

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What animals can carry monkeypox?

  • Monkeys
  • Mice
  • Prairie dogs (These are a type of rodent)
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Squirrels

Origin of Monkeypox

Monkeypox first was discovered in lab monkeys in 1958. The first human recorded to have gotten monkeypox was in 1970 in Congo.

What The Vet Said

When I spoke to my local vet about monkeypox and dogs, she said there isn’t anything to worry about. Also, she has never dealt with any cases of monkeypox in dogs and presumes she never will. 

A few words of encouragement I’d thought I’d share also! 

Are prairie dogs canines? 

Prairie dogs are not dogs; they are part of the squirrel family. A prairie dog is a rodent.

Prairie Dogs
Prairie dogs are rodents


Final Words

It does seem the threat to our dogs is pretty low. However, it would be best to keep updated with your local government on any changing information on monkeypox and dogs.

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