Are Pets Safe From The Novel Coronavirus?
The world is collectively dealing with a new type of enemy. COVID-19. Data is scarce about this novel coronavirus. And this lack of information is feeding the feeling of uncertainty and keeping everyone on their toes. Scientists are looking for answers to questions that are emerging every day. And since research on this virus is still ongoing. It is very difficult to provide answers for each and every question. This lack has led to misinformation circling the web. Which has only added fuel to the fire.
One of the many questions that has sprung up amid this crisis is if pets are susceptible to catching or spreading the virus. Since 67 percent of American households own a pet. It is clear that a lot of people are waiting for an answer. If you’re one of them, then keep reading to find out the truth.
Separating the myths from facts
Panic is the last thing we want during this pandemic. And false information is doing the opposite in this case. So be sure to stay away from viral Whatsapp or Facebook posts. Here are some facts that you must know as a pet owner.
COVID-19 started from animals
COVID-19 is caused by a type of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. It is very similar to the viruses that cause SARS and MERS. In fact, all of these coronaviruses are found in wild animals. This is why you may have heard that the coronavirus outbreak allegedly started in the animal market of Wuhan, China. So yes, it is true that the initial transmission of COVID-19 was from animal to human. However, there is no proof yet about which particular animal was the source of the virus. Also, the important thing to understand is that now, the transmission is happening from human to human.
Pets cannot catch the virus
According to the CDC, there have been no cases of transmission or infection through pets, yet. This means that you can let go of the worry of your fluffy pets getting infected. However, you must take this information with a grain of salt. This is because science is based on evidence. And till now the evidence related to pets and coronavirus is not enough to give out any conclusions.
Also, one case of a dog with low infection of COVID-19 was found in Hong Kong. But, the dog had no symptoms of the virus. It is believed that the dog had come in contact with an infected person and so its nose accumulated the virus. Hence the light infection.
Dogs can be carriers
Though there is no evidence yet about pets being the carriers of the novel coronavirus. But, it is also a fact that animals can carry germs. If your dog or cat is anywhere around an infected person. There is some probability that they will act as a fomite (things likely to carry infection). As their hair and nose may retain the virus for some time.
So what do you do?
Follow these tips if you are a dog owner
Quarantine is not just for humans but also for your pets. So here are some tips to make sure that you and your pets stay safe and healthy at home.
Just as you should clean your hands. It is important that you maintain the hygiene of your pets as well. You don’t have to give them a bath everyday. But make sure to disinfect them if you believe that they have come in contact with a contaminated surface or an infected person. Make sure that your house is also disinfected for your safety as well as that of your pet’s. You can always find deep cleaning services who take proper measures to clean your home. Also, just to be on the safe side. Remember to wash your hands after touching your pets.
Keep them away from infected people
If anyone in your home shows symptoms of COVID-19 like cough, cold or fever. Make sure that they are not in contact with anyone. Not even your pets. In case you are experiencing the symptoms. Refrain from touching your pets. Rather let someone trustworthy person take care of them for a while.
Care for your pet
It may be true that dogs cannot contract or spread the virus yet. But, this does not mean that you stop caring for them. Make sure that you have enough supplies like food and water for your pet. Prepare an emergency kit of medications. In case you ever need it. Also, keep a tab on the health of your pet. If you have any doubts. Contact a veterinarian either directly or by using telehealth service.
Stay active and keep them entertained
Now that both you and your pet are stuck in your home for some time. You must make sure that you stay active and also keep your dog entertained. While you can get on your online dance class or burn calories on the best recumbent bike in the market. Keep your pet busy with mental games or just a simple fetch. After all, they need exercise too.
At this time of world crisis. Caring for your pet is just as important as caring for yourself and your family members. Take care of their diet and not let them come in contact with people showing symptoms. Keep your pets in mind while taking all the preventive measures. And stay safe.