Earlier in March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) had affirmed that COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus had become a pandemic across the world.
This has caused panic amongst the people over the outbreak and spread of the virus.
Not only the people but also the pet owners are also worried about the health of their pets, including Dogs.
The social media is flooded with many images and pictures of Dogs wearing face masks like humans, urging pet owners to ask if their Dog can get Coronavirus like humans!
Video By American Kennel Club
A dog may suffer from low-grade infection, but still, there is no indication confirming pets were getting sick or spread of such viruses.
A case from China has been reported that a long dog appears to have a low-grade infection due to Coronavirus, and it is considered as a case of human transmitting into the Dog.
But, when the Dog is taken for examination, it has shown no symptoms for the illness, but it is the owner who was confirmed to have the infection COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus.
As per the report from WHO, at present, there is no such evidences that companion pets like Dogs can get the infection with new COVID-19.
So, there is no justification available in taking measures against the companion pets, which may directly or indirectly impact their welfare.
As confirmed, there are possibilities that can companion pets like Dogs can contract certain types of Coronaviruses like the Canine Respiratory Coronavirus.
Still, the specific type of novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 is believed not to be a menace for the dogs.
Till date, there is only one case of Dog being infection in Hong Kong has been reported after the global outbreak of COVID-19 Novel.
Moreover, there is no evidence to support the claim that Dogs or other pets can transmit the COVID-19 in or from humans.
COVID-19 Novel is mainly spreading from the droplets that are produced when the infected person sneezes, speaks or coughs.
To keep yourself and your pet safe and protected, you need to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly and also encourage your Dog to stay away from the infected person and ensure to keep them clean always.
Pet owners across the world need to be vigilant about the health of their Dog and own health as well.
If you take your Dog outside and it comes in contact with the infected person, there is a slight chance that the Dog may get infected by the person.
So, it is suggested that pets like dogs must be kept isolated till further updates. Being the pet owner, you need to be careful enough with the pet and other mammals in their house.
But, it is believed that the virus has emerged from an animal source, and now it is spreading from humans to humans.
So, people are suggested to avoid traveling to China present with their dogs and also avoid animals both dead and alive.
But this doesn’t mean that the pets like dogs in America or other countries are the source of the Virus-like Novel Coronavirus.
Although a dog in China has shown low-grade infection with COVID-19, but this doesn’t ascertain that this is the case of human to animal transition of the virus.
According to local health authorities, there are no evidences available that pet animals like Dogs are the source of the Virus-like COVID-19 or that they are becoming sick due to it.
In America, CDC has not confirmed any cases of Dog or other pets falling sick or infected due to COVID-19.
Even in other countries, there is no such report confirming the presence of COVID-19 in pets like dogs.
But, authorities are urging the pet owners to stay extra cautious and follow best practices to keep their pets like Dogs protected.
If you have children at home, you must ask them not to touch the pets or put fingers inside their mouths as of now because they may have fecal contamination.
As a part of general practice, you must wash your hands thoroughly after touching the Dog, which is the part of normal hygiene as well.
As of now, healthy dog owners are not required to follow any measures in the sake of protecting their Dog from COVID-19 Novel.
They only need to follow the basic and normal hygienic measures like washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching r coming contact with the pets like dogs.
If you are found positive with COVID-19 or have been exposed to the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus, you must restrict contact or touching any family members, even your pets like Dog.
You must avoid being exposed to your Dog as a preventive measure.
Infected persons touching the Dog, their fur or skin may pass the virus into their skin, and this may further pass to another person who touches the Dog.
So, to prevent the spread of all germs and viruses, you must always prefer wiping the pet’s paw when they come in from a walk outside.
It would help if you used a paw cleaner and paw wipes that are available easily in the market.
You have to understand here that dogs are not required to wear face mask like humans to avoid the COVID-19 virus.
But if you are still concerned red about the health of your Dog, speak to your veterinarian, especially when you notice any changes in their health and activities.
Some of the precautions pet owners must take to protect their pets from getting any viruses include:
- Maintain separation and also avoid direct contact with the Dog if you are test positive for COVID-19. You must avoid snuggling, petting, being licked or kissed and sharing food. It would help if you made alternative arrangements for the pet that can take care of them until you recover
- But, if you don’t want to send your beloved Dog under the supervision of others and want them to be around you while you are infected, then ensure to wash your hands before and after interacting with the Dog and also wear a face mask before coming closure to your beloved pet.
Pet Preparedness Plan for Emergencies
Being a pet owner, you may have different priorities for your Dog, and hence you need to have a pet preparedness plan available for emergencies. This includes:
- Having sufficient food and products to take care of your pet when you are sick or tested positive for COVID-19.
- Identifying the right person that can take care of your pet when you or someone in the house is positive with COVID-19.
- Having crates, extra supplies and foods on hand for easy and faster movement of the dogs without delays.
- It would help if you kept all the vaccinations for Dog up to date in events when boarding become crucial and important.
- All medications for your Dog are documented with right dosing information and administering directions including the prescription from the vet.
- You also need to use an identification collar for the pet and ensure that it comprises of microchip and ID Tag.
Do You Have to Change Behaviour with Your Dog?
As per World Health Organization, it is always the best option and good idea to wash your hands with soap and rinse it with water before and after coming in contact with the Dog, especially if you are positive with COVID-19 Novel Virus.
This will help and protect them with a variety of common bacteria, including COVID-19, E.Coil, Salmonella, and more, which can transmit between pets and humans easily.
If you are really concerned about the health of your Dog and want to keep them protected from COVID-19 WHO advises the following for the pet owners which they must keep in mind always
- Cover your mouth while sneezing with elbow or tissue and after use put the tissue directly into the dust bin. It is always better to wear a face mask before coming in contact with your Dog.
- Wash your hands before and after playing or petting with your Dog with sanitizer or soap
- Ensure to maintain a minimum distance from the pet when coughing or sneezing. You need to maintain at least one-meter distance from the Dog during these activities.
You may check online for more details regarding the precautionary measures for protecting the Dog from Coronavirus.
WHO, CDC, and other officials have ascertained that spreading of COVID-19 Novel in Dog is not sure, but this doesn’t mean that you have to take the things lightly.
You, as a pet owner, need to take every possible measure to keep your Dog protected from COVID-19.
There are possibilities that the virus may transmit from human to human and the source from the Dog itself.
When a person infected with COVID-19 Novel Virus touches the Dog, the virus is passed on fur and skin of the Dog, and if any other person touches the Dog, it may pass on to that person.
So, it is necessary to follow all the preventive measures to avoid spreading the virus to others and pets.