Pet Care in the pandemic is one of the issues that generate the most uncertainty among those who live with cats and dogs during periods of preventive isolation.
Given the spread of the outbreak, experts recommend implementing health care measures not only for caregivers but also for dogs and cats with whom they live at home.
In the current situation, with a quarantine decreed to prevent the rapid expansion of the COVID-19 coronavirus, many people wonder if pets can get infected and if they can transmit this virus to humans. However, at present, there is no scientific evidence that pets, such as dogs and cats, can contract COVID-19, the World Health Organization, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC, for its acronym in English), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (USA). There is also no evidence that they can be transmitters.
Three affirmed cases have been accounted for that tried positive for this kind of Covid on the planet, two canines and one feline, however, it is likely because of natural tainting, which was animals that did live with people with the virus, but it was not acting nor developing symptoms in them”, comments Manuela de Meo, a veterinary doctor and collaborator of the Center for Research in Microbiology and Tropical Parasitology – CIMPA of the Universidad de Los Andes. Truly logically there is no proof to partner this transmission.
The cases are widely reported by the American Veterinary Medical Association and several studies are being carried out to better understand the behavior of COVID-19 in different animals. In addition, for her part, Camila González, professor of the Department of Biological Sciences and member of CIMPA, recalls that “dogs and cats are not as close in evolution to humans as other animals are, which is why there are very few diseases that are shared”.
“Dogs and cats can be infected with another type of coronavirus that has different symptoms, in dogs it is gastroenteric, but it cannot be transmitted to humans,” says expert Manuela de Meo. It is important to remember that the family of viruses known as coronaviruses is broad and can cause different diseases, among which some only affect certain animals and are not transmitted to people.
To guide the keepers, two scientists from the Center for Research in Microbiology and Tropical Parasitology of the Universidad de Los Andes, in Colombia, established some key guidelines so that both you and your animals can remain calm. Here, some of the recommendations of the experts added to those offered by the World Health Organization (WHO) :
- Limit your pets’ contact with both other animals and strangers.
- Reduce exposure by taking daily walks of a maximum of 15 minutes in the areas closest to your home with your respective collar and muzzle, in cases where it is required.
- Wash your hands before and after handling your pets, disinfect their paws only with soap and water, not with other substances that can affect them, and dry them, if possible, with disposable paper towels.
- Give your pet a thorough bath with soap and water in case he has played with other animals or gotten dirty with mud, dirt, or water.
- Do not put a mask on your pet, since they can interfere with its respiratory process and, in addition, cause episodes of stress.
- If you, as a caregiver, are diagnosed with the outbreak, keep your distance from your pet and wear a mask at home.
- Frequently disinfect your pet’s toys and space with soap and water and change the litter in cat boxes more regularly.
- Dispose of your pet’s fecal waste as hygienically as possible and always wash your hands before and after doing so.
- Consult the veterinarian in case of the registration of any condition.
- While the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Center for Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Veterinary Public Health of the Pan American Health Organization have insisted that companion animals do not pose a threat amid the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, there are still many doubts caused by the circulation of false information that leads their caregivers to decide to abandon them.
- According to the aforementioned health authorities, the first thing that citizens must be clear about is that, since there is no scientific evidence that these animals can transmit the infection, there is not a single explanation to pass on them to their destiny, without asylum or food. , in an environment of global crisis and, much less, to request euthanasia.
- “Abandoning or killing animals is something that causes them suffering and feeds the panic cycle; it is a crime, it is cruel, it is not ethical at all and it does not solve the pandemic. Pets have been demonstrated to be a great organization and can even decrease feelings of anxiety and self-destructive inclinations, something exceptionally good in our present quarantine circumstance. We recommend that pet owners continue to care for them and remain calm. Abandonment cannot be, under any circumstances, an option, “urges the WHO in your space dedicated to solving questions about animal care.
- Although official versions have circulated about the diagnosis of some felines with coronavirus in the United States, the truth is that, although they have acquired the disease, it has not yet been proven that they can pass it on to humans.
- With the beginning of the pandemic, data on the vaccines that are regularly given to canines to protect them against a type of coronavirus capable of causing digestive conditions went viral. On this, it is crucial to understand that this type of coronavirus is not the same as Covid-19.
- Unlike the one initially called “Wuhan Pneumonia”, the coronavirus that affects the digestive system of dogs is the one identified as CCoV and, although its vaccine protects them, it should not be used in humans either.
- In times of crisis, pets become ideal sources of company and fun to cope with the effects of isolation, so today more than ever, it is time to reward them with care and good treatment for all the love they give with their barks, meows, and playful looks.
However, in times of fear for COVID-19, it is worth taking extreme precautions and cares with pets to prevent them from being passive transmitters of the virus, for which the two scientists make the following recommendations:
- Limit the interaction of animals with other pets and with people outside the house when they go outside, bearing in mind that the best method of care is to avoid coming into contact with infected people.
- Limit exposure by taking them out to the park. It is recommended not to take long or far walks from the place of residence so that interactions can be better controlled.
- Just as constant hand washing is recommended, a similar practice can be followed with pets: wash their paws with soap and water every time they go outside. Other chemicals should not be used as they can be harmful.
- If the pet rolls around in the grass, plays with other animals or people, a thorough bath with soap and water is recommended.
- Only go to the veterinary clinic if it is an emergency, for other queries you can go to telemedicine.
The control of this disease is everyone’s responsibility, which is why it is very important to follow the recommendations of authorities and experts in this regard.
Covid-19 does not affect dogs and cats
Faced with the publication of rumors and false news, the World Health Organization and the World Association of Small Animal Veterinarians have clearly stated:
There is no logical proof that homegrown creatures experience the ill effects of or send Covid-19.
This is not a disease transmitted by pets, but it can be transmitted between people, so isolation is the best way to prevent it. That means you will no longer be able to frequently walk your dog or let your cat escape for a few minutes away from home. Recommendations for pets and people before Covid-19
wash your hands frequently
In the company of pets, it is recommended to wash your hands before and after playing or touching the animal.
Take him to the vet: veterinary services have not stopped throughout the pandemic. Do not neglect the visit to the veterinarian or stop attending in case of an emergency. In case you do not want to leave your house, you can purchase a home veterinary service, however, always make sure it is in a reliable place and ask for the doctor’s professional card to avoid inconveniences. Remember that we are available for you at the Veterinary Clinic.
DO NOT give them food from home: homemade food, to which they are not used, can cause serious digestive problems in your pets; vomiting or diarrhea.
Avoid going out for a walk
Although it is difficult for us and our dogs to stay indoors as long as possible, this is the best way to reduce the rate of infection.
If you go for a walk
Do it for short periods, avoid contact with other people and pets, use the necessary implements (mask and gloves) and look at the times allowed to be on public roads.
Returning from the ride
Wash and disinfect your collar, leash, harness, and other implements very well when you get home. We recommend that you leave these accessories outside the house or near the door. in a place far from We suggest you wash the paws of your dog or cat with water and Pet Shampoo.
Don’t abandon your pet
They do not represent a risk to your health. At this time you must share more with them so that together they can better establish a routine inside the house.
Look for information in official sources
Avoid falling for rumors or fake news. Here we leave you the website of the World Health Organization where you can find the official information on the relationship between Covid-19 and your pets.
With the pandemic, many pets have been abandoned: If you do not have the financial capacity to maintain it, try to give it up for adoption to the different organizations and entities that welcome the furry ones. Don’t leave them on the street.
What not to do with your pets during the Covid-19 emergency?
- Do not cover their mouths with masks, this will only stress the animal.
- Do not let them leave the house without supervision. If they ran away and you couldn’t help it, wash their paws well when they get home.
- Avoid walking your dog for a long time.
- As far as possible, prevent your pet from having contact with other animals and people who do not live with you.
Take advantage of the time at home to share with your furry ones, you will surely discover much more about their habits and you will be able to understand them better and better.
Basic needs of your pet
- For hygiene, you can take your dog out on a leash to relieve himself. Make sure you take it to places very close to your home, be brief, wear a double mask and maintain your minimum social distance of one and a half meters with other people. Remember to pick up their feces before you leave
- Stay away from public spots where enormous quantities of individuals assemble.
- If your dog doesn’t relieve itself in the short time you’ve taken it out, try again the next day. If he does them inside the house, clean without scolding him. He doesn’t know what’s going on; understand him and don’t make him feel guilty.
- Take advantage of Sundays to bathe your pet and teach him new tricks. Spending more time with them will help them relax.
- There is no proof that the infection can be spread to individuals through the skin, hide or hair of pets. Try not to clean or wash your pet with synthetic sanitizers, liquor, hydrogen peroxide, or different items that are not reasonable for pets, for example, hand sanitizer, sanitizer ledge wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners. Consult your veterinarian if you have questions about appropriate products to bathe or clean your pet.
- You can buy pet food at supply centers such as supermarkets or warehouses. If your pet has a very specific need for food due to health issues, you can also buy their products.
The health of your pet
- Until we find out about what the infection means for creatures, treat your pets equivalent to your relatives to shield them from conceivable contamination.
- Since there is a risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals, limit your pet’s interaction with people who are not members of your household.
- Keep cats indoors when possible and don’t let them roam freely outdoors.
- Do not put masks on pets. Masks could harm them.
- Converse with your veterinarian assuming your pet turns out to be sick or then again in the event that you have any worries about your pet’s wellbeing.
Can I get COVID-19 from my pet or other animals?
In light of the restricted data accessible to date, the danger of pets sending the infection that causes COVID-19 to individuals is considered underneath. As of now, there is no proof that creatures assume a critical part in the spread of the infection that causes COVID-19. A small number of animals around the world have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, in most cases after close contact with a person with COVID-19.
Until we know more about how this virus affects animals, treat your pets as you would human family members to protect them from possible infection. This means:
- Don’t let your pets socialize with people or other animals that don’t live in your home.
- Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from socializing with other animals or people.
- Walk your canines utilizing a canine rope and keeping somewhere around 6 feet (2 meters) from others and creatures.
- Keep away from canine parks or public spots where enormous quantities of individuals and canines accumulate.
If your pet becomes ill or you are concerned about your pet’s health, speak to your veterinarian.
Do I need to have my pet tested for COVID-19?
At this time, routine COVID-19 testing for pets is not recommended. We are as yet finding out with regards to this infection, yet apparently, it tends to be spread from individuals to creatures in certain circumstances. In view of the restricted data accessible to date, the danger of pets sending the infection that causes COVID-19 to individuals is considered underneath. Assuming your pet is wiped out, counsel your veterinarian.
Is it safe to adopt pets from animal shelters?
In light of the restricted data accessible to date, the danger of pets communicating COVID-19 to individuals is considered underneath. There is no reason to think that animals, including those in animal shelters, play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
Recent research shows that ferrets, cats, fruit bats, and Syrian golden hamsters can be experimentally infected with the virus and can transmit the infection to other animals of the same species in laboratory settings. Mice, pigs, chickens, and ducks didn’t become contaminated or spread disease in light of the consequences of these examinations. Data from one study suggests that dogs are not as likely to be infected with the virus as cats and ferrets. These findings were based on a small number of animals and do not indicate whether animals can transmit the infection to people.