Dogs and COVID19

In the past 4 months, we have all been seeing and dealing with the COVID19 spread all around the globe. The advice given by the World Health Organisation has been to wash our hands more often, social distancing and avoiding travel. People are struck with worry about their own health, but pet owners started wondering if their pets can get the virus and if they can pass it on to humans. The answer we were all hoping for was NO, and that is exactly what we got, there is no evidence at this time that our furry companions can get this strain of coronavirus, and they cannot pass it on to us, but there is still one thing to keep in mind, and it is-hygiene.

Hygiene measures

We still need to take our dogs for a walk, some cats have the freedom to leave the house and roam around, and as they walk outside they might get the virus on their paws or hair. The important thing is not to panic, and just take some extra time and care to clean our furry friends when we come home and limit our cats to the yard or balcony outings only. It has also been recommended that you should wash your hands before and after interacting with your pet, avoid kissing them and sleeping in the same bed with them, regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, as well as toys.

Coronavirus in animals

A coronavirus is a group of related viruses that cause disease in mammals and birds. In humans, they can cause respiratory tract infections, ranging from mild to lethal ones, while they cause a wide range of symptoms in different animals.

In dogs, it is called CCV and it attacks the digestive system causing the dogs to vomit, have diarrhea and blood in the stool. It will usually pass in 3 to 5 days with the help of probiotic therapy and fluids and electrolytes to help with the dehydration, which helps more with adult and older dogs. Younger dogs need extra therapy including hyperimmune drugs because the symptoms usually get more extreme and can be lethal. There is a vaccine for preventing this virus in dogs, while there is no vaccine for cats.

Cats carry a different strain of coronavirus called FIP. Most cats won’t get any symptoms and will just develop antibodies, while other rare cases that get the clinical FIP, the virus usually attacks the abdomen, kidneys or the brain, and it is often lethal. The clinical FIP usually only forms in cats with a compromised immune system.

Dogs cannot get sick from COVID19

To summarize, COVID19 is an RNA virus, which means it needs to attach itself onto DNA in order to reproduce. It also needs to be a specific type of DNA sequence, humans, bats and certain types of crustaceans have it, dogs and cats do not. This means dogs and cats cannot carry COVID 19 and cannot get sick from it. So you don’t have to worry about your pets, keep them clean, and keep yourself and others around you safe and healthy by keeping your distance. This is the best time to give your pet some extra time and love while staying at home as much as you possibly can.

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