The year 2020 has been one bumpy ride so far. The world is struck by COVID-19 the novel coronavirus disease, a global Pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020.
In this tough time as we humans fight the coronavirus our furry companions are also at risk of contracting the virus. Coronavirus in dogs is really a thing. Today when the world is closed and all of us are indoors with our pet dogs, one is bound to worry if ones dog can get the Coronavirus or not?
Yes, your dog can certainly get infected by the coronavirus. Dogs or cats do not pose a severe health threat from this virus but they can test positive. The interesting fact is that coronavirus in dogs can spread through humans but dogs do not spread the virus to humans or other animals.
However, the social media has different stories and theories of Coronavirus being spread by dogs. All of those updates and forwards are untrue and are creating panic in dog owners. This is resulting in dog owners abandoning their pets.
Followed by a series of events of pet abandoning and the unwanted panic created, WHO (World Health Organization) cleared the air of rumors by stating that dogs cannot spread the corona virus to humans.
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Cases of Coronavirus in Dogs
In Hong Kong, on February 28, 2020, a 17-year-old Pomeranian had tested “weak positive” for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Many experts from the Hong Kong University and other institutions unitedly agreed that this was a case of human-to-animal of transmission. The reports stated the dog got infected due to his 60-year-old owner who was tested positive of coronavirus.
The test results of both the owner and her dog had the same virus present in their body. This made the researchers and doctors believe that this is a case of human-to-animal transmission of the virus. The dog later succumbed to the disease and is the first dog to die from contracting the potentially deadly coronavirus.
Even so, many experts still say that there is nothing to worry about you picking up the coronavirus from your pets. In fact, the dogs should be the ones worrying of getting the virus from their humans.
In another case of Hong Kong, a pet German shepherd has been tested positive for coronavirus. The virus is again supposed to be a human-to-animal transmission. The dog was immediately sent into quarantine with another pet dog of the same household.
After days of quarantine the other mixed-breed dog tested negative for coronavirus. Hence, proving that animal-to-animal transmission of the virus is not possible.
In both the above cases it is possible that the dogs infected by the coronavirus was due to their owners, their age or other underlying health issues which makes the aged Pomeranian more susceptible of contracting the virus.
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Risk of Humans Contracting the Coronavirus from Dogs
Even though there are two positive cases of dogs picking up the virus. There aren’t any cases of humans contracting the diseases from their pets. This surely cuts of the risk of humans contracting the coronavirus from dogs.
Doctors, Veternarians and research Experts are pretty sure of their knowledge and do not agree with animal-to-human transmission or human-to-animal transmission of the virus. Dr. John Williams, from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh says that he thinks that even the idea of humans giving this virus to dogs or any other pets is absolutely nonsense.
Considering the two positive cases one should definitely take precautions for self and for the dogs but there is no evidence to prove that humans are at risk for contracting the coronavirus from dogs.
What exactly is the Coronavirus in Dogs?
Coronavirus in Dogs is known as the Canine Coronavirus (CCoV) it is a family of viruses which are enveloped and is a single-stranded RNA virus. The CCoV can cause extremely contagious intestinal diseases in dogs worldwide.
There is also a group II of the canine coronavirus. It is a disease of the respiratory system in dogs also known as the canine respiratory coronavirus-CRCoV. Nonetheless, the canine coronavirus (CCoV) is not similar to the coronavirus (COVID-19) which is the novel coronavirus disease abbreviated as COVID-19.
The above-mentioned cases of dogs testing positive for the virus are related to the coronavirus affecting humans and not the canine coronavirus (CCoV).
Symptoms of Coronavirus and Does It Spread?
Canine coronavirus (CCoV) is completely different from the ongoing global pandemic COVID-19. Though there are symptoms of the CCoV, there are no major symptoms of the current novel coronavirus disease in dogs.
The CCoV or the intestinal disease in dogs has symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia. The symptoms for the COVID-19 are ill defined and merely show up.
Dogs are unlikely to contract the coronavirus disease. Even though there are two cases of dogs contracting the coronavirus. Experts still assure that dogs do not spread the coronavirus even though it has zoonotic origins. Neither the dog nor the dog products that are imported from China pose a threat of dogs spreading the virus to humans.
There is no valid evidence to prove that dogs or dog products have the potential of virus transmission.
How to Protect Your Dogs from Coronavirus?
As pet owners you must be used to petting your dog every now and then. Here are some easy precautionary measures to follow:
- Dogs should not come in contact with those who are sick with the coronavirus.
- A healthy household member should take care of the dog.
- The infected person should wear a mask around the dogs and wash their hands thoroughly before and after touching or petting the dog. Also the non-infected members should follow these tips.
- Avoid kissing your dog too often.
- If you or any member of the family is tested positive for coronavirus the best safety measure is to stay away or restrict contact with your pet.
- Avoid their exposure to other individuals and prevent the passing on of the virus by other people touching their skin or fur.
- Wipe your dog’s paws every time they come in or go out of the house. Use paw wipes or paw cleaners for the same.
The safety measures to take care of your dog during this pandemic are similar to regular hygiene practices and restricting contact with any animal, like you would around humans.
Wash your hands for a good 20 seconds. Wear a mask. Keep your pet clean and give them a wipe often. This will ensure the safety of both the dog and the dog’s human.
How to Prepare for Future Emergencies?
In the wake of the ongoing Pandemic, pet parent should be prepared for any emergencies, just in case. As the number of coronavirus cases is soaring on the charts more precautions should be taken by humans.
The spread of this disease has made all of us stay indoors and our pets are more than happy about it. But as pet parents it is our duty to ensure the safety of these speechless lovable beings and provide them with all the essentials as well.
- Always keep extra supply of food and necessary items of your pet at hand, pre-ordered or stocked up.
- Keep all their medical reports and other paperwork in one place and ready to use as needed.
- Stay in touch with your Vet and make sure your dog gets the required medical assistance (for any kind of illness) in person or over the phone
Dogs for Managing Stress in the Quarantine Times
Dogs are a man’s best friend and forever will be. The COVID-19 pandemic has gotten the whole world into self-isolation and quarantine as a precautionary measure.
While the coronavirus demands you to practice social distancing stress and anxiety are obvious to show up. Dogs have forever been the best stress busters and in this time of crisis and self-isolation what’s better than a dog to accompany you.
Dogs have a stress buffering quality that helps people cope with stress and anxiety. In challenging times like these where humans are practicing social distancing from each other. Dogs can provide huge social support by being besides you in the tough phases of life.
In hopes of coping with the coronavirus stress and panic New Yorkers are getting dogs to keep themselves sane and calm the anxiety. Isn’t this just the best idea?
Petting dogs and playing with them can reduce the stress attached with the COVID-19. Good mental health is important for both dogs and humans and sitting around at home just adds to the stress and anxiety. Many New Yorkers reported to have reduced levels of stress after getting a dog.
Dogs tend to understand human emotions and offer you more love and care in testing times. Dogs worldwide are wagging their tails in happiness as they are able to see so much of their humans all day.
The greatest and most positive news amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic is dogs not being able to contract and spread the Coronavirus. The two dog cases being tested positive for the virus are absolute exceptions and have many possible and underlying factors for testing positive.
Go and give your dog a hug right now because that is the best thing to do anytime and any day. Take care and follow the basic and normal hygiene practices to stay clear of germs or any viruses.
Stay tuned for our updates for the latest news in the world of dogs. Let us know your views or queries about dogs and coronavirus in the comments section below.
Happy Petting to You Guys!
P.S: Wash your hands before and after petting your dog.