COVID-19 and dogs: The world came to a standstill in 2020 when COVID-19 led to a global pandemic claiming thousands of people’s lives worldwide. Every country enforced lockdown and millions of people lost their job and became unemployed but it was our furry friends that withstood the most burns.
With many reports claiming that animals were active transmitters of the coronavirus, there were many instances reported where people threw their pets outside their homes. With various websites touting our furry friends to be dangerous for our health, it is high time that we should know the real truth and know whether dogs can transmit the COVID-19 virus or not.
What is the relation between COVID-19 and dogs?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that affect differently in different animal groups. In some cases, it can cause illness in people solely and some only infect animals.
There have been extremely rare cases where it has been cited where coronavirus infected an animal and then got spread between people. An example of that instance is that of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which got spread in 2020. It was reported to likely have originated from bats and the infections were originally reported from a live animal market.
There has been no evidence that stated that animals, especially dogs, (which we feared the most) had any role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there have been reports that stated that in certain situations if animals came in close contact with a person affected with COVID-19, they can also get infected with the virus.
The first case of an animal tested positive for coronavirus was reported at a New York zoo for a tiger. There was a lot of research done on animals to see whether they were capable of spreading the COVID-19 virus.
Now coming to the relation between COVID-19 and dogs, according to a study done in 2020, a total of 47 dogs were observed to detect the COVID-19 virus when kept in close contact with their owners who had been affected by the virus and put into house isolation. From the study, it was inferred that only 15 dogs got affected and tested positive but neither of them had any symptoms of COVID-19
However, we have to keep in mind that all these observations were made in controlled settings and there need to be more studies to completely solidify the claims.
What are the symptoms of dogs infected with COVID-19?
As mentioned earlier, COVID-19 and dogs do not have a direct link. The virus does not infect our furry friends easily but they can get infected by the virus if they remain in close contact with a person who has been affected.
If you worry that you would not be able to identify whether your pet has any COVID symptoms or not, then look out for the following symptoms:
- Appearing sluggish or lethargic
- Shortness of breath or coughing and sneezing.
- Runny nose and discharges from the eyes
- Vomiting and diarrhea
What can we do if dogs get infected with COVID-19?
Now that you could diagnose the symptoms, consult your veterinarian immediately so that proper medications and regulations can be prescribed for the affected.
Apart from that, some measures can be followed if your pets get infected with the coronavirus. And remember these hygiene tips are not only applicable for dogs and cats but inclusive for other animals as well.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after you have handled your pet, their waste, or toys.
- Excreted wastes secreted by dogs and cats or other animals are from where most of the germs get spread, so make sure to always clean the wastes and keep them in a hygienic place. Disinfect the living place regularly.
- Separate all our furry friends’ supplies from places where you eat or prepare for food.
- If you have been accidentally bitten or scratched by that affected animal, immediately rinse the area with warm water and soap and apply an ointment if possible.
- Practice all the necessary healthy animal hygiene that is prescribed by your veterinarian.
- The medicines prescribed by the veterinarian should be immediately fed to the affected pets.
- Keep your pet at home and avoid taking them outside.
- When taking care of your dog, wear a mask and gloves and try to limit your contact with them. However, do not put a mask on your dog as it can affect their ability to breathe properly.
- Do not wash your pet with a disinfectant product as there has been no evidence of their fur or skin carrying the virus and there is a high chance of these disinfectants being harmful to them.
Dogs, cats, or other pets generally show very mild symptoms if they get infected with COVID-19 and it generally goes away with regular medications. However, monitor the symptoms regularly and follow the instructions provided by the vet rigorously to speed up the recovery period of your pet.
Now, there you go, everything you need to know about COVID-19 and dogs. Hopefully, the article was able to solve all your queries and doubts.
There have been various instances reported of people throwing their pets out of their house in fear of being infected with the virus. It should be acknowledged that no case of humans getting infected by dogs or cats has been reported but there are high chances of the virus getting transmitted from an infected person to their pet. Even if your pet is affected with the COVID-19 virus, follow the guidelines and regulations provided by your veterinarian and the condition would be soon ameliorated.
Remember all the information provided in this article is based upon the data provided to date. With the limited data available now, there have been no cases reported of dogs or cats, or other pets transmitting the virus among people.