According to leading organizations on animal health, like the AVMA and World Organization for Animal Health, we don’t have evidence saying animals, like dogs and cats, can become sick from the virus that causes COVID-19. However, still, dogs can be affected by the coronavirus.
Did you know that infectious diseases can sometimes infect a person or animal, and not cause any symptoms or problems, or be transmittable to others?
The Simple Truth
There have been very seldom reports of animals testing positive for COVID-19, while owners also tested positive. Since the pets ‘probably’ weren’t running around outdoors among other people, and the owners were frequently around other people it is likely the owners gave the virus to their pets and not the other way around.
These were also very seldom cases, compared to the hundreds of thousands of human cases.
What is a Zoonotic Disease?
Believe it or not, there are actually several coronaviruses. The coronavirus that can cause the current ‘Coronavirus Disease (COVID)’ causing such a problem all over the world is only a member of a larger family. Some of these can infect animals, and some of them can spread from animals to people and the other way around. A disease that can spread from animals to people is called ‘Zoonotic’, or ‘Zoonosis’, in case you ever hear that term.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is NOT believed to be Zoonotic!
Animals can’t spread COVID-19 virus, according to the current information we have.
How is the Coronavirus Causing COVID-19 Spread?
This novel (new) coronavirus causes, above all, a respiratory illness. It’s mainly spread by floating on droplets created when an infected person coughs or sneezes, spread via saliva, or droplets from the nose. It can live on surfaces for a limited amount of time, which is one reason frequent hand washing is so important.
This virus is not a true airborne virus. Airborne viruses are small enough to float on or in the air for a much longer period of time. Because of this, masks will only protect you if you are in contact with an infected person, and that person happens to cough or sneeze in your direction.
Because we touch everything with our hands, many things likely touched by hundreds of other people, frequent hand washing is far more important!
What Can the Coronavirus Do to My Dog?
Now you know your dog probably can’t infect you directly with COVID-19, or become sick from it! But, what happens if a sick person sneezes or coughs on your dog, or tries to pet your dog with infected hands? Your dog may not be able to become sick himself but can become an unwilling carrier. You touch your dog, and now you might develop COVID-19.
Social Distancing is true for your pets too! Keep your pets away from other people.
Though they may not understand, try not to allow other people to pet your animals during this troubling time.
Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (WHO).
Should I Purchase that Mask I Saw Other Dogs Wearing?
Now that we have more information about this novel coronavirus causing COVID-19, major health experts are telling us our dogs or cats have little to fear from this. There is no evidence yet we can get COVID-19 from our pets breathing or coughing/sneezing on us.
The risk occurs when an infected person contaminates our dogs by coughing, sneezing, or touching/petting them. Even then, the evidence is telling us our pets can’t become infected.
Keeping unnecessary people away from your pet is far more important right now.
You don’t need to purchase a special mask for your dog to wear.
Important: ‘Many’ of the masks that are designed for dogs to wear will also make it difficult to pant properly. Now that it is becoming warmer in many areas, like the United States, taking away a dog’s ability to perspire can be a very bad thing.
Will (Others Wearing) Gloves Protect my Pets?
Disposable gloves are not meant to be re-used and only serve to keep contaminated objects from contacting your hands. They can only protect you, not others, as long as you don’t touch the outside of these gloves with your skin.
Every time you touch anything with these gloves, they can pick up any pathogen living on the surface you touched. If that happens to be this coronavirus, you can then transfer it to your pet when you (or someone else) touch/es them. Now anyone who touches them can pick it up again.
Other Questions About COVID-19
Should I Purchase an Expensive (for Myself) Mask I Saw Advertised?
Organizations selling these expensive masks are ‘mostly’ capitalizing on the current problem for profit. Masks can either protect you from inhaling mucus droplets after another person sneezes or coughs, or protect others around you if you are sick. But they are meant to be disposable if they can’t be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Washing your hands frequently, as well as staying away from other people as much as possible, are both much better forms of protection. They also won’t cost you huge sums of money.
Who Can Best Answer My Other Questions and Concerns?
If you have important questions about yourself or your pet, contact your doctor, the health care workers, or your veterinarian. They are the ones most capable of answering those questions. It isn’t any given politician or the televised media; this isn’t anywhere near their area of expertise.
What is the Coronavirus, Exactly?
COVID-19 is the name of this particular infectious disease caused by the ‘newest, most recently discovered’ coronavirus, out of an entire family of coronaviruses.
This virus was unknown to the world before its outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December of 2019.
We have already seen several other coronaviruses, like that which caused MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV. As of this date, 4-8-2020, we don’t yet know where the virus ‘first’ originated from or how it came to exist.