In March last year, things got serious all of a sudden. It took a while for most of us to stay sane and do what we normally do. Of course, our life is still not the same as before. However, we are accepting the new weird normal life to the best of our abilities.
Needless to say, the pandemic situation affected our pet dogs as well. Just like us, they had to stay indoors for longer than before. As expected, people are still increasingly worried about the virus spreading from dogs to humans and vice-versa. Well, experts suggest that we shouldn’t be concerned.
As of today, there is no solid evidence that proves that coronavirus can infect dogs, nor can they pass the virus to us. If someone has contracted this virus, it could be from another human being and not from a dog. So, people with pet dogs shouldn’t think of abandoning them.
Even during the SARS outbreak (2003), a small number of dogs tested positive for the SARS virus. However, they didn’t transmit the disease to humans or other animals.
Despite no evidence of dogs being a source of coronavirus infection in humans, we are expected to follow necessary sanitary measures before/after touching a dog.
If you are a pet owner, you should keep your guards up during this pandemic situation. Having said that, let’s address some important questions related to coronavirus and dogs.
Should a Covid-19 patient avoid contact with his/her pet dog?
A pet owner tested positive for this virus should avoid contact with his/her dog, just like he would avoid contact with other human beings. In other words, a coronavirus-infected person should refrain from touching, kissing, hugging, or petting his/her dogs. The infected person must also try to keep his pet in a separate room.
This will limit the interaction of the dog with the sick person. Basically, one should treat the dog the same way one would treat any other family member. If possible, one must request someone outside of the house to take the dog out for daily walks till he/she recovers fully from the virus.
Should you test your dog for Covid-19?
Though human coronavirus tests can be performed on dogs as well, government officials don’t encourage routine testing of coronavirus in dogs.
This is because tests done on dogs can reduce the availability of testing kits for humans. So, you need not get your dog tested for Covid-19.
Basically, the supply for tests is short. Also, the role of dogs in spreading the virus has been insignificant to cause concerns.
What should you do if your dog falls sick?
Coronavirus aside, your dog can get ill from a host of other health problems. Current evidence does not suggest that our dogs can get sick from coronavirus. That said, it’s better to talk to the dog’s vet or public health officials about your pet’s health to prepare better for the issue at hand.
Should you use a mask on your pet dog?
As you might already know, many companies out there have started selling masks for dogs claiming that the mask can shield pets from the Covid-19 virus. Since there is no evidence of dogs spreading coronavirus to humans, you should refrain from buying such face masks because these masks can interfere with your pet’s breathing.
Can you take your dog out for a walk?
Morning walks are allowed in most places. Of course, everyone is expected to maintain social distancing and follow all other regulations set by the law. Although the virus won’t spread from the dog’s feces, you should pick up the dog’s waste and get rid of it responsibly, just like you would normally do.
How to interact with street dogs during Covid-19?
As mentioned earlier, there’s little to no evidence of stray dogs spreading this virus to people. If you come in contact with a street dog, you should still sanitize yourself.
Proper sanitization will help you eliminate all sorts of microbes (including coronavirus) if these elements have somehow found their way onto the dog’s fur.
As you might already know, the virus can live on objects/surfaces for many hours. So, they can be present on a dog’s body, even if they don’t contract the virus.
Is it safe to adopt a dog in today’s age and time?
Believe it or not, adoption shelters have seen a drastic rise in adoptions nowadays. Since people have extra time at hand these days, they are considering pets.
Experts state that this time seems really right for dog adoption because pet dogs are helping their owners deal with the pandemic situation better than usual.
Pet dogs have been an incredible source of comfort and companionship, especially during this time of crisis.
However, the biggest factor in adopting a pet is to understand that it’s a lifelong commitment. One should be able to commit to pet care even after the pandemic is over.
Should dogs be vaccinated?
Although animals don’t play a significant role in spreading this virus, vaccination of some domesticated species would be necessary.
This would prevent the virus from evolving and spilling back to people. After all, there is a slight scope of the virus developing in some animal species and spreading back to us.
So, canine vaccination can be seen as a precautionary measure to shield us from a potential virus outbreak in the near future.
As it stands today, the role of dogs in spreading this virus is very less. In other words, the Covid-19 virus doesn’t need a dog’s help to spread from one person to another.
As unfortunate as it may sound, humans are doing it fine themselves, which has allowed the virus to spread enough to cause a pandemic situation worldwide.