Jinwon Soul / Staff reporter
As the Covid-19 situation seems never-ending and the number of cases is increasing day by day, there has been a question that has come up amongst people: can dogs, cats, and pets get or spread Coronavirus? If yes, what are the ways to keep them safe?
It has been known to people that COVID-19 originally came from an animal, likely a bat. Animals often play a huge role in the spread of a virus. Pets such as dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, and rodents can spread diseases to humans. Animals that are normally not defined as “pets”, such as cows, horses, and pigs can also spread diseases. The cause of the virus transfer is mostly from touching a pet that is infected. HealthLinkBC stated diseases that can be spread from animals to people are Salmonella, Campylobacter, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Rabies and so much more.
Although there are lots of diseases that are spreading because of animals, there has been no clear proof of whether animals play a significant role in the spread of Coronavirus.
Coronavirus originated in animals in the beginning, but the widespread of the virus happened through humans, not animals. CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, announced that the risk of animals spreading Covid-19 to people is considered low. However, there are some chances that Covid-19 can spread from humans to animals in certain situations.
In June, the USDA reported that the first pet dog to test positive for the Covid-19 virus had passed away. The dog, whose name was Buddy, had difficulty breathing. It has been determined that Buddy had caught Covid-19 from his owner, who had also been tested positive for the coronavirus.
The government of Canada states that there have been several reports of infected humans spreading the virus to their dog or cat, but it’s still not clear how often this happens or under what circumstances. The studies suggest that dogs can catch Coronavirus, but can not spread it to other animals or humans. However, cats, minks, and ferrets can spread the Coronavirus to other animals of the same species.
According to The Public Health Agency of Canada, the symptoms that the animals will have when they catch Covid-19 are sneezing, coughing, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. However, data studies suggest among 93 cases of Covid-19 in cats and dogs in the US, 53% showed no symptoms at all. If one’s pets are showing any of the symptoms, it is crucial to minimize interactions with them and consult with a veterinarian if possible or wanted. Pets who have tested positive for Covid-19 must isolate from humans and any other animals to avoid the spread of the virus.
If the owner of the pets has tested positive to Covid-19, having any symptoms, or showing signs of illness, it is better to stay away from their pets as much as possible for their pet’s health. Contact between the pets and humans, such as licking, kissing, hugging, or sleeping together must be avoided. It is best to ask someone outside of one’s household to take care of their pets until they fully recover. However, if that is not an available option, wearing masks when near their pets might be the best option.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials, precautions can prevent humans, animals, and pets from getting the virus. It is important to be extra cautious to avoid the virus from natural exposure. Good personal hygiene is one of the best ways to protect themselves and their pets from getting the Coronavirus; Washing hands more often, especially after touching another person, or any objects that have been touched by another person. Also, minimizing the interactions between people or pets outside of the household will prevent them from getting exposed to the virus.
As the situation gets worse and the studies suggest that certain animals can get infected with Corona through people, people must be more careful and be serious about protecting themselves and their pets. Pets’ health depends on their owners’ decisions and cautiousness, so people should be strict and cautious with the protocols, not only to stay safe for themselves, but also for their beloved pets.