Health

Why You Need To Stop Panicking About The Effect Of Coronavirus On Dogs

The current coronavirus situation is a worrying time for all of us as we deal with the potential implications of this disease. Strict measures about hygiene and the rapid spread across the world have created a sense of panic.

One of the distressing consequences has been the decision by some pet owners to consider euthanizing their dogs. As this Vice article states: some Sydney dog owners panicked and asked their vets about the prospect to protect their pets.

Before we go deeper into some of the questions surrounding dog coronavirus, we need to make this clear: your dog is much safer than you are.

There is no need to take drastic action to “protect” them. As long as you follow safe practices you can get through this with your canine companion. But we still need guidance. Will coronavirus affect dogs?

Below you will find some helpful advice on the following questions about dog coronavirus. Hopefully, this should provide some peace of mind over the situation and a clearer idea of how to act.

Together we can do our best to keep ourselves and our pets safe during this crisis. Also, don’t forget that this is only temporary. Once the pandemic is over, you can enjoy a normal life with your dog again.

Can Dogs Get COVID-19?

can dogs get coronavirus covid 19

There is an important distinction to make here. There are different forms of coronavirus and the one that affects dogs is not the one that affects humans. At the moment, we are dealing with a COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the human form and there is little evidence that our pets will suffer from this illness. Therefore, while some dogs can get sick with dog coronavirus there are pretty immune to getting sick during this crisis.

So Why Are There so Many Pictures Online of Dogs Wearing Face Masks?

does covid 19 infected dogs

These images on social media could be down to a couple of reasons. There are going to be some overly-worried pet parents that assume that coronavirus is deadly to dogs and want to protect them with face masks.

But, the majority of these images are probably from people that are bored and want to share some funny images online. This isn’t the weirdest trend that we are going to end up seeing in the COVID-19 lockdown. Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok are going to get surreal.

What About Those Hong Kong Coronavirus Dog Cases?

dog coronavirus

You may have seen the news recently that a pair of dogs in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus. This is a very rare case where a human with the virus appears to have passed it on to their animals.

Officials were keen to point out that the dogs were not sick with the Illness nor a source of the infection. They did not have COVID-19. They just had traces of the coronavirus in their nostrils. They simply ended up carrying the illness due to some form of contact with their owner.

How Could Dogs Get Coronavirus From Humans?

can dogs get covid 19 from humans

We have to remember here that coronavirus is transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface or are exposed to contagious droplets through coughing and sneezing.

This is why the most important pieces of advice for humans are to wash your hands whenever you return home and to avoid close contact with people outside. Social distancing and good hygiene really can flatten the curve and save lives.

So, in this case of the Hong Kong COVID-19 dog transmission, it could be down to a couple of reasons. Either their owner didn’t wash their hands and surfaces properly or they allowed those contagious droplets to get too near the dog.

Should I Stop Kissing My Dog During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

covid 19: can i still kiss my dog

Absolutely! In a time when we need to adhere to the best hygiene practices possible, we have to think about these sorts of actions. You don’t know where your dog’s tongue has been while you were out on your walk.

If you are symptomatic, you could also pass on the virus when they lick your nose and mouth. Also, this practice is pretty unhygienic even when there isn’t a global health scare.

Can Dogs Spread the Coronavirus?

can a dog transmit covid 19

Understandably, many dog owners will worry about this. In these periods of self-isolation and social distancing we are more careful about contact with other people. We will stand meters away from others in the park to have a conversation.

But, what do we do when their friendly pup comes over for attention? Experts aren’t too concerned about the risk here of coronavirus on dogs.

Coronavirus can live for a while on hard surfaces but doesn’t seem to have the same lifespan on soft materials. Therefore, the risk of contamination from dog fur is minimal.

So Can You Pet a Dog During Coronavirus?

how to pet dogs during the coronavirus pandemic

The WHO states that we shouldn’t worry about dogs transmitting coronavirus and that it should be safe to pet them. But if you are concerned about this then you have every right to decline to pet someone else’s dog.

You have to put the health of yourself and your family members first. There is nothing wrong with being cautious right now. Social distancing from any stranger is acceptable.

So That Means That I Can Still Walk My Dog?

can i walk my dog during coronavirus lockdown

Yes. You can absolutely walk your dog unless you are in an area with very strict rules or in a period of quarantine. If you are healthy and able to get out for some exercise then take your dog with you! There is no reason why they should remain stuck indoor without any exercise.

How Can I Keep My Dog Safe If I Have COVID-19?

keeping your dog safe from coronavirus

If you are symptomatic and need to stay in quarantine, you should still be careful around your pets. Treat your dog the same way you would your human relatives. The risks may be minimal but we can’t be too careful.

There could be other risks or complications for certain breeds or for dogs with particular conditions. The WHO and CDC are still learning and researching the impact of coronavirus on dogs as this develops. Be cautious, keep washing your hands and be careful when sharing or preparing food.

Is There a Dog Coronavirus Vaccine?

coronavirus vaccine dogs

There is a puppy vaccine for canine coronavirus so your dog should always have immunity to the canine version. At the moment there is no COVID-19 vaccine for dogs.

The lack of symptoms or risks means that a vaccine isn’t really necessary right now. If you are unsure if your dog had the puppy coronavirus vaccine then you can check with your vet.

How Can I Keep My Dog Active During Coronavirus Quarantine?

keeping your dog active during covid 19 lockdown

If you are stuck in quarantine because you have the illness or are worried about exposure, you need to consider the welfare of your dog. Dogs that can’t go outside for a walk can still play games and burn energy in the yard.

Don’t be afraid to call on help from friends and relatives if you can’t handle this quarantine period with your dogs. They may be able to take your dog into their care for a little while if it is safe to do so.

Should I Put My Dog Into Kennels Until the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Over?

coronavirus in dogs - is it safe to put my dog in kennels

Understandably, some dog owners will consider this step. If you know that your home won’t be suitable during a quarantine period it could be pro-active to consider alternative accommodation.

Just remember that they will share the facilities with strangers—both human and canine—that could be carriers. There is also the risk that some kennels won’t have the staff or means to operate if things get bad. Try and find a better solution with a friend or relative.

The Key Points About Coronavirus and Dogs

coronavirus on dogs

Will coronavirus affect dogs? Not as much as you might think. Still, here are some of the most important points to take away and give you some peace of mind.

  • Your dog gets sick from another form of coronavirus
  • While there is no evidence that petting leads to coronavirus on dogs you need to be careful
  • Always practice good hygiene around your dog—so no kissing!
  • There is no need for a dog coronavirus vaccine
  • Make sure they can still get exercise where it is safe and appropriate to do so
  • Consider temporary accommodation for your dog if you are worried about quarantine conditions

Finally. don’t forget that our dogs are still loving, devoted companions during this crisis. They will be there for you when you are stuck inside and feeling anxious.

They will provide endless hours of entertainment throughout this. It might be tough for you both right now but you can get back to normal life when this is all over.

Sources:

  1. https://vetmed.illinois.edu/pet column/coronavirus-pets/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/animals.html
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