Can My Dog Get The Coronavirus?
After a Pomeranian in Hong Kong recently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, there was a lot of panic among dog owners... can my dog contract the coronavirus too?
The answer isn't a straightforward 'yes' or 'no'.
The dog tested positive for what was described as a 'weakly positive' form of the virus that was detected in the nose and mouth samples.
Following this, Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department stated that "The dog has a low-level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission".
They then went on to disclose "We strongly advise that mammalian pet animals including dogs and cats from households with … infected persons should be put under quarantine … to safeguard public and animal health."
SO WHAT SHOULD I DO?
First of all, f you have tested positive for COVID-19, it is vitally important that you self-isolate for at least 7 days.
And yes, this does include from your furry friends!
Ask your housemate, friends or family to feed your dog and take them for walks whilst you self-isolate.
Whilst the evidence of human-to-animal transmission aren't 100% proven, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Source: SCIENCE MAG
SHOULD I QUARANTINE MY PETS?
Many people in China have started to place tiny face masks on their pets as a preventative measure to the coronavirus.
PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!
There is little benefit to this and it actually causes more harm than good. Our pets don't understand why you are doing this and it can cause severe stress for them.
Practice proper hygiene with your dogs. Wash your hands before and after you play with them, as well as frequently bathing them.
And if you want extra credit points against the coronavirus, then clean the paws of your dogs with antiseptic wipes after taking them for a walk
AND IF YOU THINK YOUR DOG HAS CORONAVIRUS
Call your vet immediately and follow their recommendations.
But please be patient with your vets.
The coronavirus has caught a lot of experts off guard and there is still a lot of debate on the best course of action, so respect that this is also unchartered territory for your vet too!
To recap, experts believe that it is possible for animals to contract the coronavirus from humans, but this isn't 100% proven (at the time of writing).
So if you do have the coronavirus, please self-isolate from humans AND animals to be safe.
And if you think your dog may have the virus, please consult your vet immediately and follow their instructions.
Dogs deserve to be treated like family and royalty.
Please do not buy into the unfounded hysteria and continue to love your dog more than ever!