Can Dogs Get Mono?

You’d be hard pressed to find a dog owner who doesn’t love to give their dog a smooch (or ten) throughout the day. You may not be laying one right on your pooch’s lips, but it’s hard not to nuzzle their fuzzy heads and irresistibly soft snouts. With millions of dogs getting kissed by their humans every day, does this put dogs at risk for contracting mono, the viral illness known as “the kissing disease”?


Can Dogs Get Mono?

This sounds like a pretty miserable illness for humans, so how does it affect dogs? Luckily, mono can’t be transmitted from humans to dogs. Even if you have a raging case of mono, it’s impossible to give it to your dog even if you’re sharing eating utensils (not recommended). This virus is only transmittable among humans and never from human to dog (or any other animal).

Is There a Canine Equivalent of Mono?

No, there isn’t a dog-specific version of mononucleosis. Humans are the only species to get this specific virus and cause infection in other people.

There’s no danger of transmitting this specific illness to your dog, so enjoy the cuddles and hugs your dog is willing to give you when you’re sick and recovering.

What is the “Kissing Disease”?

The Kissing Disease is a nickname for a viral illness called mononucleosis. It’s transmitted through the saliva (which is how it got its nickname). It isn’t fatal or dangerous, but it does impact a patient’s quality of life until they’re able to get over it. Mononucleosis causes severe, long-term exhaustion and weakness. Other symptoms include fever, a rash, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and body aches. Some patients get a sore throat, headaches, and nausea. Diagnosis requires bloodwork, especially since mono is most commonly mistaken for the flu because of the associated body aches, chills, and fatigue.


To prevent transmission to family members, ensure you aren’t sharing any utensils, drinks, or food, and all of your dishes are washed with very hot water and plenty of dish soap. You can be contagious for weeks or even months with mono, so always consult closely with your doctor before you assume you aren’t contagious anymore.