Over the last few days, I have become increasingly worried about how Covid-19 could affect my nearest and dearest including my dogs and cat. So I have done some research to find out what the experts are saying and thought it may be useful to share this with our readers. It is important to hi-light that as this is a new strain of virus no-one fully understands the impacts but here is some information on what the experts are currently saying.
Coronavirus and animals
The main discussion during the initial outbreak was that the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus was reported to have jumped from species to species. Many articles now suggest the source of the virus was believed to be a chinese horseshoe bat which passed the virus to an intermediate host, a pangolin which is known to be a chinese delicacy. The pangolin was found in a “wet market” in Wuhan , China, which sold both dead and live animals including fish and birds and from here the virus is thought to have transferred to humans.
So can this coronavirus continue to pass from humans to other species like our pets including domestic dogs and cats and vice versa? At this stage, the general consensus seems to be that Covid-19 is passed from human to human via droplets from speaking, coughs and sneezing and this does not seem to be affecting our pets. The World Health Organisation is currently stating 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′. They have also said that they will be monitoring this situation and notifying the public if any new findings become available. So we should continue to spend time with our pets as we always do. PetPlan, the UK’s largest animal insurer, does suggest however, that this may be a good time to think about pet hygiene. You could be contagious before symptoms appear or you may be asymptomatic, so best not to let your dog lick your face or sleep on your bed and keep washing your hands.
How to look after your pets when you are sick
Another worry is how you can look after your pets if you catch the virus. I think the key thing here is to be prepared. Stock up on pet food in case you have to go in to isolation. Although many shops are closing, , Monster Pet Supplies, Pet Supermarket and Pets at Home offer delivery services with discounts often offered on bulk buys. Of course, if you are unwell, you won’t be able to walk your dog either, so think about getting some extra toys and slow feeding bowls to give them extra stimulation indoors.
For more useful information about coronavirus and animals, we recommend taking a look at World Organisation for Animal Health. Stay well!