Health organizations and governments all over the world have been taking measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, and various research groups are working overtime to find a cure or COVID-19 once and for all. Amidst worldwide concern about this health crisis, life goes on for many people, and families and individuals are still traveling for rest and relaxation, with some of them even taking their pets along for the holiday. While travelers are protecting themselves from the coronavirus by wearing face masks and practicing good hygiene habits, pet owners are wondering whether their fur babies can get infected with the disease. A lot of misleading information about the matter has been circulating in the news, causing worry amongst pet owners. If you’re heading overseas with your dog or cat, here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 and your pet’s chances of getting sick with the virus.
Has there been a reported case of the coronavirus in pets?
As of the present time, one dog has tested "weak positive" for the coronavirus. The dog belongs to an infected person who was in quarantine at home. Li Lanjuan, who is an epidemiologist and a representative of China’s National Health Commission, states that pet owners need to be vigilant about their pets’ health. The expert said that pets who have had contact with an infected individual may test positive, so for now, it’s best not to travel to places where there have been confirmed reports of coronavirus cases.
The AVMA recently released a factual report on coronavirus in animals.
Should your pet wear a mask?
Traveling abroad with your loved ones takes some careful planning to ensure that everything goes smoothly, so checking travel advisories, vaccine requirements, and bringing medication, masks and hand sanitizer is key to stay healthy while you’re away. If you’re traveling with a pet, the same precautions should be taken to make sure that your dog or cat stays healthy, so you’ll need to bring medication and food for your fur baby. As to whether your pet should wear a face mask, there is no proof they are helpful. Earlier this month, it was reported that pet owners in China are now letting their pets wear a face mask to ward off the coronavirus. You can create one with a piece of cloth and some elastic, or let your pet wear a regular, disposable face mask. Just make sure that it’s secure and that your pet isn’t irritated by it. Do not leave your pet unattended with anything around the face, head, or neck.
Are there other ways to protect your pet from the coronavirus?
For now, the best way to protect your pet and family members from the coronavirus is to avoid traveling to places where there are confirmed outbreaks of the disease. It’s also best to keep your pet on a leash while on holiday so they won’t wander off, and it also reduces the risks of them getting in contact with infected individuals. Keeping your pets clean at all times is also key to keeping them healthy.
Traveling with your family and pet can be a wonderful experience, but make sure to protect yourselves and your dog or cat from infectious diseases. For more information, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor and veterinarian about other ways to keep your family and pets healthy as researchers are still trying to find a cure for the new coronavirus.