Walking Your Dog During During a Pandemic
We're in desperate times. No question. And most of us as dog owners love having our dogs home with us as a form of comfort. But some people aren't sure if it's safe to pet their dog, or even walk their dogs. A man in Malta decided it would be safer to walk his dog with a drone flying above him!
Do you have to self-quarantine you and your dog? Not as long as you pay attention to some simple rules of the road.
Can dogs transmit the coronavirus to humans?
The American Kennel Club says that while it's true that "dogs can contract certain types of coronavirus, such as the canine respiratory coronavirus, this specific coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is not a health threat to dogs."
As to whether dogs can transmit COVID-19 to humans, The World Health Organization says, “There is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19...which is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.”
Why would this prevent infection? The American Veterinary Medical Association's Chief Veterinary Officer Gail Golab says, “We’re not overly concerned about people contracting COVID-19 through contact with dogs and cats. The virus survives best on smooth surfaces, such as countertops and doorknobs. Porous materials, such as pet fur, tend to absorb and trap pathogens, making it harder to contract them through touch.”
There was a case of a Pomeranian in China who tested as "weak positive", but the dog was very old and had an underlying illness. Two other dogs in China, who lived together, were quarantined. One was a German shepherd who tested positive but the other dog didn't. The shepherd's 30-year-old owner was also infected.
What Should You Do?
Follow a sensible routine with your dogs. Take them for walks, enjoy their company. Wear a mask if you feel it's necessary. And it's also okay to go on walks with friends and their dogs, I would just make sure to keep your dogs and yourself a safe distance from others.
Lee Charles Kelley