Can Dogs Get Mono? The Truth About Infectious Mononucleosis in Canines


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can dogs get mono

When it comes to looking after our pets, their health and well-being always comes out on top. In our quest to provide the best possible care, it is natural for us to wonder, “Can dogs get mono?”

Infectious Mononucleosis, colloquially known as “mono” or the “kissing disease” in humans, is a common viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the intriguing world of mono and its potential impact on our beloved dogs.

What is Mono?

Mono is a contagious viral infection primarily associated with humans, especially teenagers and young adults. It is often transmitted through saliva, which earned it the nickname “kissing disease”. The primary culprit behind mono is the Epstein-Barr virus, belonging to the herpesvirus family.

The infection can lead to various symptoms in humans, including fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue, and typically resolves on its own with rest and supportive care. But, can dogs get mono too?

Can dogs get Mono?

As much as we adore expressing affection to our dogs, concerns about the potential transmission of mono to dogs may linger. Put simply, the answer to this question is no, dogs cannot get mono. There is currently no evidence to suggest that dogs can contract mono from their human counterparts.

It is important to acknowledge that while the Epstein-Barr virus primarily targets humans, dogs can be susceptible to a similar viral infection called Canine Herpesvirus (CHV). CHV is not the same as the Mono, although they are both viruses and share similarities in the way they are transmitted.

Canine Herpesvirus (CHV) however, poses a considerable threat to dogs, particularly if they are pregnant. CHV can lead to severe health complications in newborn puppies, emphasizing the importance of responsible pet ownership and taking necessary precautions to prevent viral spread.

Although the risk of dogs contracting mono from humans remains low, pet owners must be vigilant regarding other viral infections that are prevalent amongst dogs.

Can dogs transmit Mono among themselves?

While dogs cannot contract the Epstein-Barr virus from humans, they may still be vulnerable to various viral infections that can spread within their own community. So, can dogs get mono from other dogs? Canine Herpesvirus (CHV), which we mentioned earlier, is one such concern.

Dogs can transmit CHV to one another, primarily during mating or through contact with infected bodily fluids. Pregnant dogs infected with CHV can pass the virus to their unborn puppies, leading to serious health implications for the neonates.

Responsible dog owners play a pivotal role in curbing the spread of viral infections among dogs. So, can dogs get mono from other dogs if precautions aren’t taken? Regular veterinary check-ups, proper hygiene practices, and limiting contact with sick dogs are essential steps in maintaining the well-being of our pets.

Mono symptoms in dogs

Given that dogs cannot contract the Epstein-Barr virus responsible for mono in humans, their symptoms will differ from ours. Instead, dogs may exhibit signs of other viral infections, such as CHV or common canine illnesses like Parvovirus or Distemper. So, can dogs get mono-like symptoms? While not mono per se, some typical symptoms of these diseases include:

  1. Fever
  2. Lethargy
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Vomiting and diarrhea
  5. Respiratory issues
  6. Nasal discharge

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary care to determine the cause and administer appropriate treatment promptly.

How to prevent viral infections in dogs

As responsible owners, our primary focus should revolve around preventing infectious diseases in our dogs. Here are some essential tips to ensure their health well-being:

  1. Vaccination: Ensure your dog remains up-to-date with all recommended vaccinations. Regular immunizations can provide vital protection against various viral diseases, including Parvovirus and Distemper.
  2. Hygiene: Adopt good hygiene practices for your dog, such as regular baths and grooming. Additionally, diligently clean up your dog’s waste to minimize the spread of infections, especially in communal areas.
  3. Limit Contact with Sick Dogs: Avoid exposing your dog to other canines that exhibit signs of illness. If your dog falls ill, isolate them from other pets until they have fully recovered.
  4. Proper Nutrition: Provide a balanced and nutritious diet to strengthen your dog’s immune system. A robust immune system enhances your dog’s ability to combat infections effectively.
  5. Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Schedule routine check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your dog’s health and detect potential health issues early on.


The intriguing question, “Can dogs get mono?” prompts us to explore the nuances of infectious mononucleosis and its potential impact on our canine companions. While dogs cannot contract the Epstein-Barr virus responsible for mono in humans, they remain susceptible to other viral infections like Canine Herpesvirus (CHV), Parvovirus, or Distemper.

Responsible pet ownership, along with regular veterinary care, vaccinations, and proper hygiene practices, play a vital role in safeguarding the health of our pets. By diligently following these measures, we create a safe and loving environment for our canines to thrive.


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