It is possible for dogs to carry the virus on their fur, collar and lead
Dogs Trust, the dog welfare charity, has issued advice to reassure owners around coronavirus transmission and dogs following recent media coverage.
It said that there are currently no confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) being transmitted from dogs to people. Adding that the main source of infection is human-to-human transmission.
However, just like human hands, it is possible for dogs to carry the virus on their fur, their collar and lead.
With more people able to visit friends and families in gardens and in parks, and their dogs able to visit vets and dog walkers as restrictions ease, there will naturally be more opportunities for people to interact with you and your dog.
The charity has advised owners that there is little risk of the disease being transmitted from a dog to them, but to follow these simple steps to help protect themselves and others:
- Wash your hands well with soap and water for 20 seconds after touching your dog or any of their belongings
- As hard as it may be, avoid kissing your dog, and letting them kiss you
- Avoid contact with other people’s pets
- Ensure your dog does not come into contact with other people or dogs. If your dog is likely to go up to other people or dogs, you may need to keep them on a lead whilst out walking
- Don’t be afraid to ask people not to pet your dog
- If you’ve tested positive for Coronavirus or have symptoms, limit physical contact with your dog as much as possible, as hard as it may be
- If your pet is sick or injured, call your vet ahead of time before going to the surgery
- If you do visit friends and family with your dog as part of a social bubble, do remember to wash your hands and avoid visiting if you are unwell
Paula Boyden, veterinary director at Dogs Trust, said:
“We understand that dog owners may be concerned about the potential effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) on their four-legged friends and whether or not they can contract or transfer the disease.
“To keep ourselves and others safe it is important that we all work together to follow Government guidance and keep at least two metres apart from others when venturing outside.
“This may mean walking your dog on a lead when in areas with other people.
“If you have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) we would recommend limiting physical contact with your dog as much as possible too – as hard as it may be.”