Can Your Dog Get Corona Virus
The novel Covid- 19 CoronaVirus is an entirely different pandemic that has hit hard the whole of the world. No one ever even thought of such a disease in their wildest of dreams. The exact source of this outbreak still remains unknown, but it is believed to have come from bats and has turned the life of human beings upside- down. Its impact on animals is still under observation. There is no such evidence to prove that animals can be affected by the virus or whether they can spread it. In some situations, it may even spread from animals to people.
Only more studies regarding the subject can further help us to completely understand what effects can Covid-19 have on various kinds of animals. Basically, a large number of viruses make up the family of corona viruses. They are all of different types. On one hand, there are some that cause cold- like illness in human beings while on the other hand, there are those like canine and feline corona viruses that affect only animals and not humans.
In human beings, the virus is likely to spread through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking. Studies also show that those who do not show any symptoms of being affected by the disease can also give a helping hand in spreading the same. As per today, there isn’t a single proof that makes clear if animals can be affected by Covid- 19.
Animals and Covid- 19
Scientists and doctors all over the world are still learning about the virus through tests and surveys. According to them, it appears that Covid-19 can spread from people to animals when an animal comes in close contact with a person suffering from the disease. Cats, dogs and a few other kinds of animals can catch SARS- Cov-2 which causes COVID-19.
In several countries including the United States, dogs have been reported to be infected with the virus after they have come in contact with people with COVID-19. Tests are being done on various dogs so that the proneness of SARS- CoV-2 among them as well as their possible role in its spread can be better understood. One study data also shows that dogs can be infected with the virus but they can’t spread the virus to other dogs.
Just as human beings need to be protected from the virus, in the same way, treat your dog as would do with a family member. Pet owners are advised to limit their pet’s interaction with other people other than your own household. Keep your dogs indoors and don’t let them roam about freely outside on the lanes. When you go out with them for a walk, make them walk on a leash at least 6 feet away from others.
Try to avoid public places with large crowds as much as possible. One significant thing to take into consideration is never to mask your dog. Masks are likely to harm your beloved dog. Also, do not use chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or other such unapproved products to wipe or bathe your dog. This is because there is no evidence which states if the virus can spread from the skin, fur or hair of the dogs.
If in case you are infected from coronavirus or even suspecting it, make sure your contact with your pet is restricted. Avoid petting, snuggling, being kissed, licked, sharing food and bed with your dog and let other family members take care of your pet. It is an incredibly good idea to practice healthy tips around your pet dogs. Practice hygiene, both in your as well as in your pet house. Using machines like air purifier, air humidifier, carpet cleaner and vacuum cleaner to maintain proper cleanliness.
It is always advised to talk to your veterinarian if you have any suspicions, doubts or questions about the health and well being of your dog. Instead of taking your dog to the clinic, have a word with the veterinarian over the phone. They may offer telemedicine consultations after evaluating your pet dog. Be extra careful about children who are 5 years of age or below, people with a weak immune system and adults over 60 years as they are more likely to catch and get sick from germs that dogs may carry.
- The first known case of a dog tested positive for the virus was a pug named Winston, living in North Carolina. But, after a few subsequent tests, it was concluded that the dog never had the virus. Out of the three family members, two were tested positive with whom the dog lived.
- Two dogs living with positive owners also tested positive for COVID- 19 in Hong Kong.
- As per the tests done by the Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department on March 25, out of the 17 dogs living with people of confirmed infection from Covid-19, only two dogs tested positive for the virus.
Is it safe to pet and walk?
It has been scientifically proven that petting the fur of your dog has absolutely no risk. The reason behind it is that the virus tends to survive best on smoother surfaces like doorknobs, countertops and alike. Pet fur is porous enough to absorb and trap pathogens. This makes it harder for the virus to be contracted through touch.
Exercises – both physical and mental are extremely crucial for pet dogs and their owners alike. Before stepping out for a walk, always check your local regulations and do not even dare to break any stay- home orders. If you feel that you are perfectly fit and fine, you can continue taking your dog out for a walk by maintaining proper social distancing. Do not forget a cloth face covering which completely hides your nose and mouth.
But if there is any curfew in your area, you should alter your dog’s walking schedule instead of ignoring such local ordinances. Social distancing measures should be strictly followed. Always go to an uncrowded area with your dog for walking and it would be better if you totally abandon going to dog parks for some time until this pandemic is over. A minimum of 6 feet or 2 metres of distance should always be there between your dog and other pets as well as their owners.
The rate of transmission of the infection is quite high in large cities as well as heavily populated areas. To keep yourself and your dog safe, take your dog down on less- heavily- trafficked blocks. You can even try adjusting your walking schedule and leave your house only during the less busy times of the day and night. Be very strict regarding anyone touching your dog. Do not allow any outsider to pet your dog while you and your dog are out on a walk.
Now, last but not the least, do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly with soap before and after every walk. Or else, you can even carry a small pocket size sanitizer with about 90% alcohol during your walks.
Most of the doctors urge us to use common sense in such situations. You won’t let your kid touch and play with a puppy and afterwards put their fingers in their mouth to avoid fecal contamination. It’s normal hygiene to wash your hands after touching a puppy or a dog. Make sure that your pet dog does not interact with people or other dogs outside the household.
It is not recommended to get your dog tested for COVID-19. Just take proper measures and staying in isolation will keep your dog safe. If still you notice any changes in the health of your dog, feel free to speak to your veterinarian. He or she will advise you further whether you should go for getting your dog tested or not.