COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China around December 2019. On March 2020, the World Health Organization (W.H.O) declared the virus a pandemic.
The virus has shaken all countries. Panic is visible among different nations. Human survival has been put to the test. It is a threat both to human health and to the world economy. Human-human interactions have been changed and may never be the same again.
Human behavior has changed, people are now more concerned not only with their health and their family’s health but also with the health of their pets.
Concern has been so visible among dog owners, especially on social media. And some concerned pet owners have even put face masks on their pets.
A lot of questions have been raised by the public with regards to if the dogs can be infected with COVID-19, and whether pets can transmit the virus to other animals or to humans.
Can Dogs get infected with Coronavirus?
Coronavirus has been traced back to animals. However, scientists and veterinarians have not succeeded in linking the virus to a specific genetic class of animals.
Many research organizations across the globe have established through thorough research, that dogs have low chances of getting infected with the virus. A number of dogs were subjected to a test to ascertain this.
However, that does not rule out the fact that pets can contract the Coronavirus from humans. Based on recent news reports there are two cats and a dog that have tested positive for the coronavirus in the US. Even some tigers at the Bronx zoo in New York tested positive for Coronavirus.
There is no evidence that pets can spread the virus to other animals or humans.
Can I continue Petting my Dog?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the coronavirus survives best on a smooth surface like countertops and doorknobs.
The association further added that the virus hardly survives on porous such as pet’s fur as fur tends to absorb and trap pathogens making it difficult to transmit to humans through touch.
It is, therefore, less risky to contract the virus whenever you interact with your pet.
With that being supported scientifically, you must practice common sense when handling your dog. Regularly washing hands whenever you touch your dog is practicing good hygiene which can never be emphasized and it helps to minimize any chances of transmission should there be.
Can I walk my Dog?
Although science has proven that dogs cannot transmit the virus to a human being. It is important to keep your pet safe and observe local authorities’ advisories on how you should handle your pets.
Whenever you are walking your dog, keep social distancing in public and observe local ordinance curfews. Take other measures like walking along less busy roads or paths to minimize your pet from contracting any virus.
How Can I protect My Dog from getting Infected?
Veterinarians advise that there is no better way to protect your dog, other than practicing good hygiene such as washing hands and wearing face masks when handling your pets.
Despite the fact that dogs can not easily get infected with the virus, it is important to keep your pet safe while not compromising their welfare.
It is advisable to wipe your dog’s fur and feet with water whenever you return from walking your furry friend.
It is also advisable that when you get infected, delegate the dog’s care to another person who is healthy and who is not infected.