Unfortunately the pandemic of the Coronavirus Covid-19 is now reaching worrying levels globally.
The UK government have now introduced measures to start social distancing. These measures include avoiding non essential social contact such as visiting pubs and restaurants.
It is in these uncertain times that our vulnerable family members need extra consideration. Our dogs need to be absolutely included in this mindset.
Many UK dog owners are currently unsure on how the coronavirus will affect our dogs and what we can do as responsible owners.
UK Dog owner has been inundated with questions and fears from owners across the nation asking these important questions. It is with this in mind that we have decided to release this article addressing the most frequent of these questions.
What is Coronavirus Covid-19?
For all of you previously stuck in the big brother house or living under a rock, we’ll quickly go over the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.
The World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic for the outbreak of coronavirus Covid-19. Covid-19 was originally detected around December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
This decision to declare a pandemic was reached after containment of the virus had failed with cases being confirmed in countries across the World.
The main symptoms of Covid-19 include the following:
- High Fever
- Fatigue or Tiredness
- New and persistent Dry Cough
Full details and information can be found via the NHS here.
There are a large number of infections and deaths reported by governments around the World. Many countries are shutting borders, amongst other measures, to control the spread.
Can Dogs Catch Coronavirus?
Yes, dogs can get various types of coronavirus, mostly the canine respiratory coronavirus.
All instances of a Coronavirus in dogs tends to affect puppies and is almost never seriously detrimental to their health. This infection is much like the influenza experienced by humans and tends to be seen in puppies who are awaiting their first injections.
It is currently understood that dogs cannot pass these virus’ on to humans.
Can Dogs Catch Covid-19?
No, it doesn’t appear that dogs can be infected by Covid-19 specifically.
Initially there was panic when Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) confirmed they had had a “weak positive” test result from a dog’s nasal and oral cavities.
This has so far been the only instance of such a case and it’s looking increasingly likely that dogs cannot be infected by this particular strain of Coronavirus.
The UK government have also confirmed on their website that:
“At present, there is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as dogs and cats, can be infected with coronavirus (COVID-19).”
Can Dogs Pass Covid-19 To Humans?
No, dogs cannot pass the Covid-19 virus on to humans.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed this as part of their “myth busters“:
“While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19.
COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.”
Social Distancing Measures
Now that the UK government are taking extra measures advising social distancing, the health of you and your dog is paramount.
Exercise is an important part of physical and mental health for us and our pets.
The UK government are fully aware of this and have made it clear that going for a walk from time to time is encouraged but it is important to not have social interactions.
Keeping up with exercise is going to be tough but essential for the well being of our dogs.
Dog Walking When Self Isolating
Unlike social distancing, if you have seen symptons of Covid-19 you must self isolate completly.
This unfortunately means that you cannot leave your home at all, not even to take your dog for a walk.
In these situations the RSPCA have advised to:
- Ask for assistance from family members or neighbours to walk your dog instead.
- Ramp up play time in garden areas
- Play mentally stimulating games with your dogs when possible
- Join local Facebook groups who may have assistance measures already in place
It will no certainly be difficult but as a responsible owner it is important to find a way to keep your dog healthy.
Whilst thankfully our dogs are safe from this terrible pandemic, it is important to continue to be safe.
Washing your hands regularly and keeping your pets clean are important steps to take as this crisis continues to develop Worldwide.
It is still very early days and knowledge on this pandemic is still being gathered by scientists across the globe.
Whilst it is very unlikely that the situation for dogs will change, we would encourage all responsible dog owners to take precautions for any eventuality.
Do not overlook the mental health of you and your dog as much as the physical one. Keeping physical and mental well-beings in check will help everyone through this tough time.