Can your Dog or Cat get coronavirus (COVID-19)?

For as long as we can remember, dogs have been man’s best friend. Their sloppy kisses will tell you that no conditions apply to their love. This is perhaps why a pet so effortlessly becomes a part of our family and our lives. Whether it be a dog, or any other pet, they are there even on our toughest days.

“The first confirmed case of coronavirus in a canine”

Some animal lovers might remember the dreadful headline a few months ago – the first ever human to animal transmitted coronavirus case. A poor, 17-year-old Pomeranian, a loyal companion to a 60-year-old woman in Hong Kong, tested positive for the virus after its owner tested positive too. The news was closely followed by pet parents worried about their pets’ vulnerability to COVID-19.

When COVID-19 started to evolve into a pandemic earlier in the year, most of us reacted differently – our emotions ranged from nonchalant, confused, nervous, to terrified. News of pets getting infected had people even more vexed. It wasn’t exactly helpful that there were news of several animal cases worldwide. A pug and a German shepherd fell sick, and so did a few of our feline friends. A majestic tiger in Bronx Zoo could not escape the wretched virus, nor could the minks in the Netherlands.

Dogs, cats, lions, tigers, minks, and fauna from various parts of the globe – the virus seems pretty impartial, and looks as if it is building a Noah’s ark of its own. As if we were not harrowed enough already, we now have to deal with the worry of the virus’ effect on our own fur babies. Every snough of the pet, a cute little neeze (that is not so cute anymore) or fever sets the alarm bells ringing for every pet owner. Naming a few of these symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentions fever, coughing, difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, lethargy, sneezing, nasal discharge, ocular discharge,

Virus scan

There is a dearth of facts on the origin of the virus and also on the role of animals in the spread of the pandemic. Researchers say that there could be cases of human-to-animal transmission but it is highly unlikely the other way round. The World Health Organization on its official COVID Q&A page states, “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.”

That means you need not deprive your pets of those loving cuddles. But make sure you are healthy and virus-free so that you are…er… well and also you do not put your pets at risk. While we hope and pray that a cure is on its way, here are some things that you can take care of in the meantime:

  • Make sure that you take the right precautions to keep yourself safe – wash your hands, avoid crowded places, maintain safe distances, stay home as much as possible, and don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth. If you are safe, your pet will be too.
  • Do not take your kitty outside or let it go capering about outdoors. We cannot be certain of what or who the cat may have encountered outside. And suffice to say we know cats are not immune to the virus.
  • With dogs, it is a tad tricky, we know. But if you have to have your dog exercise, take it at a time when the roads won’t be crowded. Maintain social distancing norms when you step out.
  • If you fall sick, ensure another member of the house takes care of the pet. Make alternative arrangements, if need be. But of course, only if you are not too finicky about another person taking care of it. If you absolutely have to, then CDC recommends you wear a mask and wash your hands before and after taking care of it.
  • And no matter what, for pet(e)’s sake, don’t make your pets wear a mask at any time. Covering the face of the pet can cause it harm.

I hope you keep safe, and your pet does too. If you have more information to add to this, please do write in to & and we will include it in here so others can benefit from this too!

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