The globe has been grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic since December 2019, when a new strain of coronavirus was found in Wuhan, China. Over the last 11 months, approximately 47 million people worldwide have caught the virus, with about 10 million of them in the United States. Human-to-human interaction is responsible for the vast majority of COVID-19 cases. However, a limited number of cats and dogs throughout the world have gotten the virus after coming into touch with sick humans. As a result, it is critical to comprehend COVID-19 and how it may effect your dog.
Coronaviruses: An Overview
Throughout 2020, you’ve certainly heard the phrase “the coronavirus,” but coronaviruses are actually a big family. They range from minor viruses that cause cold-like symptoms to more severe viruses such as COVID-19. Some coronaviruses are exclusively found in animals and may not be found in all sorts of animals. In reality, certain coronaviruses infect just dogs and cannot be transferred to other animals. COVID-19, however, is not one of those viruses. COVID-19 began in a bat and has since spread to humans all over the world. Several dogs and cats have also gotten sick across the world, albeit the number of instances is far smaller and the severity is usually less severe.
The Possibility of Spreading COVID-19 to Your Dog
A tiny number of canines have become infected with COVID-19 after coming into touch with a human afflicted with the virus. Dogs are less vulnerable to the virus than cats, and those afflicted appear to have fewer symptoms. Indeed, some sick dogs exhibit no symptoms at all. Those that do show evidence of COVID-19 have symptoms that are identical to those seen in people. If your dog has been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19, look for symptoms such as coughing or sneezing, fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, and shortness of breath. Some sick dogs may vomit or have diarrhea as well.
How To Keep Your Dog Safe From COVID-19
If you become infected with COVID-19, you must take precautions to keep your dog from becoming infected as well. This implies that you should limit your interaction with your pets in the same manner that you would with other people. The ideal option is to enlist the help of a healthy friend or family member to care for your pet while you are recovering and quarantining. Avoid common interactions with your dog, such as touching or hugging him, allowing him to lick you or sleep on the same bed as you, and sharing meals with him. Take extra measures if you don’t have anybody else to care for your pet while you’re quarantined. Wash your hands before and after engaging with your dog, and use a mask while feeding, watering, and letting him out. If your dog develops COVID-19 symptoms, do not take him to the veterinary clinic by himself, since you risk exposing other humans and pets to the virus. Instead, contact your veterinarian and describe the problem in order to establish your future steps.
Even if you are not sick, it is critical to keep your dog safe from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests limiting your dog’s exposure to the world beyond your own backyard. If you don’t have your own yard and need to walk your dog, use a short leash and keep yourself and your pet at least 6 feet away from other people and animals. Avoid going to dog parks, pet stores, grooming stations, and other areas where you or your dog might be exposed to the virus. Never, however, attempt to shield your dog by putting on a mask. Masks are ineffective for dogs since they are designed to suit human faces, and they may potentially cause breathing problems or other injury. Hand sanitizer and other cleaning agents should never be used on your dog. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best bath products to use for him.
How to Stay Safe When You’re With Your Dog
Even though it is a tiny risk, your dog might become infected with COVID-19 from someone else and then pass it on to you. As a result, it is critical that you take additional caution around your dog throughout the epidemic. The greatest thing you can do to protect yourself from any germs your dog may be carrying is to wash your hands after handling his supplies, petting him, feeding him, or picking up his waste. Allowing trash to accumulate in your yard may extend the period of time hazardous germs are present, and always use waste bags to clean up after your pet on neighborhood walks. It is also crucial to examine whether you or anybody else who is in close proximity to your pet is more sensitive to COVID-19. People with autoimmune diseases, the elderly, and children aged 5 and under are more susceptible to get viruses from animals.
For most people in 2020, the world has been a difficult and frightening place, and dogs are typically a source of solace in their lives. Do not, under any circumstances, cease relying on your dogs for love and company. Just keep safety in mind. Maintain social distance, be aware of symptoms, and take excellent care of yourself and your dog to protect yourself and your dog.
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