That’s the number of People Affected by Coronavirus across the world as we write this blog. And it is increasing exponentially despite the containment efforts by government and health professionals from almost all the countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Coronavirus (COVID-19) a Global Pandemic, after Influenza in 1918 and H1N1 in 2009.
What does it mean for Dog owners?
There are a number of rumors doing around the web that animals may spread this virus to their human owners. To uncover the facts about it and get things straight is the purpose of this blog.
Can Dogs Get COVID-19?
At this time, it’s highly unlikely, according to the WHO and CDC. Even though there was an incident in Hong Kong where a dog was tested positive for COVID-19, WHO states that there is no evidence that a dog or a cat can fall ill or can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 mainly spreads through droplets, so it’s essential to keep ourselves clean and wash our hands frequently.
People also often confuse the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) with Canine Coronavirus. COVID-19 is different from the latter, which causes intestinal infections in dogs and is very common worldwide.
What’s the science behind the argument that the dogs/cats can’t spread the Coronavirus?
American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Chief Veterinary Officer Gail Golab said that this virus survives best on smooth surfaces like kitchen countertops and doorknobs. Porous materials, such as pet fur, tend to absorb and trap pathogens, which makes it hard to be contracted through touch. Yet, the infectious disease experts advise pet parents to wash their hands before and after dog petting to protect both of them from other diseases.
Is there a COVID-19 vaccine for dogs and cats?
Not at this time, for humans or animals. Medical professionals from Japan, China, and the US have been testing medicines based on their research results, but there is no official announcement on that yet.
OK, so how do I protect my pet and myself from COVID-19?
Vet experts said that the dog owners don’t need to follow anything special apart from the basic hygienic precautions.
Here are some precautions recommended by CDC
- Wash your hands with soap water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover when you cough or sneeze with a tissue and dispose of it properly.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Follow strict social distancing – It’s for everyone’s wellness.
- When in doubt, reach out to your nearby hospital for a check-up.
Above all, Do not abandon your pets due to the fear of COVID-19. If you are concerned or notice any signs of illness in your dog’s health, reach out to the nearest Vet.
Stay home and Stay safe.
College of Veterinary Medicine, IL
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention