In the panic over the spread of the virus, people are worried not only about their own health but the health of their dogs, cats, and other pets.
Dogs wearing face masks have popped up in photos across social media, causing pet owner’s everywhere to ask: can dogs get coronavirus?
Dogs can contract certain types of coronaviruses, such as the canine respiratory coronavirus, but this specific novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is believed to not be a health threat to dogs. It appears that in testing performed in Hong Kong on dogs whose owners tested positive for Coronavirus only a very small percentage tested positive and the animals had no symptoms. Hong Kong officials stress that these findings indicate that dogs and cats are not infected easily with this virus and there is no evidence that they play a role in the spread of the virus – the CDC is agreement with these findings.
The CDC says that while this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. In households where a person has tested positive for the virus, the CDC recommends having another person in the household handle the daily care of the pets if possible.
So, how do we protect our dogs from coronavirus? If you’re following the recommended guidelines, your doing it already. Many of the same guidelines are true for your pets as they are for humans. Keep your hands clean – wash before going for a walk and then immediately following; don’t take your dog to heavily populated areas; should someone pet your dog, wipe him down with grooming wipes – the virus could have been on the persons hands and rubbed it on your dog…. then you pet your dog; and lastly, should you test positive for the coronavirus, you should wear a mask during any close-up time – since the virus is spread through droplets, you should avoid exposing your pet, even though odds are strongly against your pet getting it.
Lastly, your dog does not need a face mask to protect him/herself against the coronavirus COVID-19. But should you notice a change in your dog’s health, speak to a veterinarian.
Facts for this article were taken from the American Kennel Club article, “Can Dogs Get Coronavirus?” AKC staff, April 20,2020.
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