Coronavirus: Wash your hands after stroking your pet, say experts

26 Mars, 2020, 17:23 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • After a dog had a confirmed case pet owners are wondering if they should be worried. Source Getty

While you'll still want to keep yourself and your pet safe and healthy, there's now no evidence to support that domestic animals, such as cats and dogs, can get become sick with this new coronavirus.

There's also now no evidence that shows pets can spread the virus, according to the CDC and World Health Organization.

"The changes we've seen over the past few weeks have made it increasingly hard for pet owners to feel confident that their pets will receive the care they may need in the near future", says Dr. Karley Seagrist co-owner of Yaletown Pet Hospital. Here's the latest on the virus and your pets.

The chance of your dog catching the COVID-19 strain is very slim according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

'It is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

If you have COVID-19 they recommend avoiding petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. With this in mind, you must pratice safe social distancing in parks, and follow city bylaws.

Jeanette Pilak, volunteer coordinator for Harmony Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating farm animals, had several therapy dogs over the years and knows firsthand how animals can help people feel better.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also advised that, "While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19".

Can my dog spread coronavirus to humans?

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"Pets are truly an essential part of the family for millions of Americans, and we want to ensure the entire family stays healthy during this time-both mentally and physically", says RestoraPet CEO Brian Larsen.

In case you have to self-quarantine, you should prepare an emergency kit that includes a 30-day supply of your pets' medications, as well as at least two weeks' worth of food. One option in that case, if another family member is unable to care for the pet, is to bring the animal to a boarding facility or veterinary clinic.

Pet owners in HK have been asked to adopt good hygiene after traces of coronavirus were found on a dog. You can also encourage them to forage for food, set up an indoor agility course, and play "find the toy or treat". "Masks can be tight and make it hard for a dog to breathe", he said. Also, consider making a potty for your dog in the backyard by bordering off an area of the yard.

Develop a schedule - Many pets, like people, are comforted by routines. "Like many small businesses, local practices are having to adapt to new ways to serve their clients and patients".

Does coronavirus affect my dog's walk routine? They're recommending that if someone in a household does come down with the coronavirus or they're suspecting that they have it to maybe just minimize contact with their pets as much as possible if there's somebody else in the household who's not feeling ill is able to do that, like walking, feeding and playing, those kinds of things. "They worry about getting prescriptions or supplies they need for specific conditions or diabetic pets and not getting treatments", Nguyen said. In addition to frequent hand washing, pet hygiene is placed to help prevent the spread of germs between your pets and people.

"It may be a good idea to don a surgical mask when in close contact with the pet", she added.

"CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19", the CDC website says.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, ISPCA centres are temporarily closed to the public as a precautionary measure.

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