It’s worrying times, not just here but all over the globe. Never in my lifetime have I seen anything like this. Even the wars that have happened pale into insignificance against this foe.
I don’t know where you are reading this or what country you are from but this ‘virus’ affects all of us.
Here in the United Kingdom, our Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has just announced, just over an hour ago, that effectively we must not leave our homes.
The effect of this disease is clearly very serious and fatal for many human beings, and although some people have survived, there are many that have been less fortunate.
Many people, having seen the impact that this disease has had upon humans are naturally becoming concerned about their pets and are wondering what the implications are for dogs.
I’m not a vet so I am only basing my comments on research. If you have any concerns about the health of your dog then please take him/her straight to the vets to get their expert opinion and advice.
The World Health Organisation describe the Coronavirus (COVID -19) as an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered Coronavirus for which there are no known vaccines or cures.
They define Coronaviruses as a family of viruses that cause illness in animals or humans.
For more information on Coronaviruses you can visit the WHO website at this this link.
Since the announcement by the World Health Organisation in march 2020 about the global pandemic caused by the discovery of a new Coronavirus, many pictures of dogs wearing face masks have appeared online.
This has led to many people asking the question ‘ Can dogs get Coronavirus?’.
Can Dogs get Covid-19?
It’s been known for a long time that dogs can get certain types of coronavirus, such as canine respiritory coronavirus, but the current outbreak of Covid-19 is not believed to be a health threat to dogs.
The WHO stated that there is no evidence to suggest that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is spread when a person coughs, sneezes or speaks.
Can Dogs Spread COVID-19?
A spokesman for China’s National Health Commission cautioned pet owners in China asking them to be careful about their health and the health of their pets.
He stated that if pets go out and come into contact with an infected person then they have the chance to become infected.
He suggested that people be careful with their pets and, if their pets do come into contact with an infected person, that the pets are isolated.
Two dogs in Hing Kong have recently been tested as positive but health officials say that this is likely to be human to dog infection emphasising that there is no evidence that pet animals can be a source of COVID-19 or that they can become unwell.
Is it safe to cuddle and love my dog?
The American Veterinary Medical Association are of the view that stroking and petting a dog is low risk with them stating that they are not concerned about people contracting COVID-19 through contact with dogs .
They further state that there are no cases globally of any reported instances of people becoming infected with COVID-19 as a result of contact with dogs.
They do state that good hygiene practice should be observed which is common advice anyway, such as don’t let children put their fingers into their mouths after stroking the puppy – basic hygiene remains important as it always has been.
Can I take my dog for a walk?
The situation is quite fluid in many countries and you should check what the position is in your area.
In the UK, tonight, people are only allowed out of their homes for one period of exercise daily, so this would probably include walking the dog.
Physical exercise is as important for your dog as it is for you, both physically and mentally, so you need to make the most of the opportunities that are available to you.
Its important to give your dog attention and, if you are training with him, to do the best that you are able to continue this. He will enjoy the input and it will help you too. You may have to make some changes to your regime, place of training, but do your best to enjoy the exercise.
Make sure that you practice good hygiene and always wash your hands before and after each walk.
Social distancing is a term that we are all becoming more and more familiar with. Make sure that you stay safe and practice this, remember that your dog doesn’t understand things like this so he won’t stay away from other dogs and people, so take precautions and put him on his lead if necessary.
If you are a healthy dog owner then you won’t need to do anything other than make sure that you follwo the basic hygiene advice such as washing your hands with soap and water before and after every walk,
This also includes after you have had any contact with any form of animal, be it dog, cat etc.
If you are unfortunate to test positive for COVID -19 then you should avoid contact with your pets and animals both to avoid infecting them and to prevent getting the virus onto their fur which could then be passed onto other people who pet them.
There is also suggestion that to prevent infections from coming into your home that you should wipe your dog’s paws with wipes to clean them – just as you would clean your hands.
Dogs don’t need face masks for protection against COVID-19 but, if you have any concerns about your dog’s health then you should speak to your vet.
And please, don’t abandon your dog at a shelter because you are afraid of COVID-19. Your dog loves you and is a member of your family, Treat him like one and look after him.