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Can my Dog contract Covid-19?

A question us dog owners tend to wonder frequently is:

Can my dog contract Covid-19?

Many people have a real fear of contracting COVID-19 and have a serious concern as to the health effects it may have on them. There is also a lot of concern when it come to our beloved pets! Should I be worried about my dogs, cats, or any other pets I have, if I contract the virus, or if they come in contact with someone who has been infected with the dreaded COVID-19?

There have been reports of some animals contracting COVID-19 and testing positive, but it does not appear to be a threat to our furry friends, so there is no need to worry in that regard.

It is important to note however, that there is a type of Canine Coronavirus that has been around for many years which is a type of respiratory virus. This is also known as Coronavirus, but it is not the same as COVID-19, which we have all become so familiar with in recent times.

In the United States (North Carolina) it was believed that a pug named Winston was the first recorded case of dog testing positive for COVID-19. However, with further testing it appeared that Winston had not contracted the virus. The original sample has detected to be very weak and when tested again the test came back negative. This report emerged from a spokesperson- Lyndsay Cole on behalf of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Also, 8 tigers in the Bronx Zoo in New York contracted COVID-19 from a Zoo employee. The animals showed some signs of illness, coughing being one of them. Thankfully, all tigers recovered well.

Another similar case emerged in Hong Kong regarding two dogs of different families. These dogs tested positive for COVID-19. Both pet owners had also tested positive for Covid-19, however no dogs showed any signs of illness from the virus. Further testing has been done by Health Care Officials and out of 17 dogs which were tested and 8 cats, from households with confirmed COVID-19 cases, or persons in close contact with confirmed people who had contracted the virus and only two dogs had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. It is stated that these findings show that that our pets are not easily infected by the COVID-19 virus and there is no evidence to show that they play any part in spread of the virus.

Therefore it is important to note that dogs can indeed contract the virus, however in limited circumstances. Studies have highlighted that those dogs infected with Covid-19 have recovered.

If I have COVID-19 can my dog contract the virus?

From the research done in this area it would appear that dogs do not easily contract COVID-19, so there is no need to be overly worried. However, it is recommended if you have contracted the virus a number of guidelines should be followed. (If you live on your own with your dog some of the following cannot be avoided)

  1. You should adhere to social distancing from humans and your pets.

  2. Do not share your food with your dog.

  3. Do not leave the house to walk your dog while isolating.

  4. Do not let your dog sleep in your bed.

  5. Do not let your dog lick you, or do not kiss your dog.

  6. Always were a face covering around your dog.

  7. When preparing your dog’s dinner, always wash your hands before and after.

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