Canine Coronavirus: A Cause For Concern?
Christopher Kjolseth - March 13th 2020
Coronavirus originated in animals, so it's only natural that we would be concerned about the possibility of our dogs contracting it.
What is Coronavirus in Dogs?
Recently, the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department of Hong Kong (AFCD) stated that a dog has tested positive for a low-level case of the Novel Coronavirus.
According to the world organization of animal health, this dog likely obtained the infection from a human.
The Good News:
According to the AFCD, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Hong Kong Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), there is no evidence that dogs can get sick from, or be the source of Coronavirus infection.
As there is no current evidence that a dog can get sick from Coronavirus, it is unlikely that a test or vaccine will become available.
Can My Dog Spread Coronavirus?
If you have tried to purchase hand sanitizer recently, you will have probably noticed there is a slight shortage.
The reason for this is that Coronavirus can survive on objects for an unknown period and still have the potential to infect people.
So What About Canines?
The Lifelong Animal Protection Society (LAP) of Hong Kong has stated that dogs have no more potential to spread Coronavirus than any object or surface in your home.
What Precautions Should You Take?
The best defense against the Coronavirus is proper hygiene and common sense. Here are some precautions you could take with your dog:
- The WHO says you should wash your hands before and after petting your dog.
- Refrain from kissing your dog.
- Wipe your dog's paws with antiseptic wipes before they enter the home.
- Try to avoid crowded areas with your dog
There is no need to put a mask on your dog; this will serve no purpose other than to stress them out.
How Can Your Dog Help With Coronavirus?
It is a well-known fact that stress lowers immunity, and when dealing with infectious diseases like Coronavirus, a robust immune system is critical.
In a potential quarantine situation, the companionship your dog provides can help lower your stress level.
So while dogs aren't a cure for the disease, they can help in their way.
Research is now underway to find out if dogs can be trained to detect the coronavirus in people.
The Bottom Line:
The current consensus among the scientific community is that dogs aren't going to get sick from the Coronavirus. Your dog is no more likely to spread it than any object or surface in your home.
The best thing you can do is practice good hygiene for both yourself and your pets.
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