Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the WHO, and the UK is taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus. But for us dog lovers out there, an important question remains; do we need to worry about Coronavirus in dogs?
There are many conflicting thoughts and opinions on whether this new virus can make our poor puppies sick. Rather than getting lost in the noise, today we’re going to take a look directly at the facts.
So, let’s have a look at what the experts have to say about the Coronavirus and whether it poses a threat to our lovely doggies.
Coronavirus: Can Dogs Get It?
As of right now, there is no reason to think that dogs can fall ill from the Coronavirus.
Much of the fear surrounding our pets originates from a case in Hong Kong, where a Pomeranian tested weakly positive for the Coronavirus.
However, this case does not indicate that dogs can become sick with this new virus.
A “weak positive” result means that they detected genetic material from the Coronavirus in samples from the nose and mouth. However, this result does not tell us whether intact viruses were present.
More testing still needs to be done. However, this has been the only reported case as of writing. Because the dog did not develop symptoms, it was believed to only be a low-level infection, where the virus did not make the dog sick and could not be transmitted to other animals or humans.
With this in mind, it doesn’t seem likely that dogs can become sick from the Coronavirus.
Can Coronavirus in Dogs Spread to Humans?
Another concern that has been raised is whether dogs can act as carriers of the virus and pass it on to humans they interact with.
However, there is no conclusive evidence that this is a possibility.
There have been no reported cases where a dog or any other companion animal has been the source of infection. Therefore, it seems unlikely as of right now that this could be occurring.
Regardless, it’s still recommended to practice basic hygiene when interacting with animals, just like always!
What Should I Do?
At this point, there is no reason to think our dogs could become sick or transmit the disease. Therefore, it’s much better to focus our energy on keeping dog food and other necessities well-stocked, along with frequently washing our hands.
However, if you are experiencing symptoms of the Coronavirus, it may be a good idea to ask another member of the family to take your dog out for their daily walks.
If this is impossible, be sure to practise good hygiene around your dog.
Coronavirus in Dogs: A Summary
As this is a new virus, there are still a lot of unknowns. There is much more research that needs to be done into the possibility of Coronavirus in dogs.
But there are some key points we can take from the current facts.
- There is currently no evidence that dogs can become sick with Coronavirus or spread it to humans.
- It’s recommended to continue practising basic hygiene when handling your dog, just like always.
- Ensure that you keep dog food and other necessities well-stocked, in case you need to self-isolate.
If you’re currently one of the many people who need to work from home right now, we have a fun article here about how to focus when you have an attention-seeking pup running about!
Finally, the most important thing you can do right now is to stay calm and wash your hands frequently. Keep up to date with advice from the WHO and the CDC, and keep caring for your dogs as always. That’s what we dog lovers do best after all!
If you need further information on the virus in relation to pets, please see the following links.
- Fact Sheet on the Hong Kong Pomeranian Case
- CDC Coronavirus FAQ
- World Organisation for Animal Health Coronavirus FAQ