Cuddling dogs during coronavirus

24-03-2020
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Cuddling dogs gives us comfort. If you are fulfilling your duty of total containment and trying to reduce stress these days, the tenderness and company of your best companion can be of great value.

Hugs to dogs tend to allay almost all worries. Today, science has shown that pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Their presence can relieve the feeling of loneliness, promote exercise and fun. Even improve cardiovascular health.

However, the virus has definitely been designated SARS-Cov-2. The disease caused by this virus is now called “Coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated as COVID-19). In this article, we summarize what we know so far.

Can hugging dogs be a route of infection for COVID-19?

According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) , the current spread of Covid-19 is the result of human-to-human transmission. She noted that to date, there is no evidence that pets can transmit the disease. 

Therefore,  it is not justified to take measures which could jeopardize the welfare of domestic animals . Current evidence suggests that COVID-19 has a source in wild animals, but this is still under study.

Can you cuddle your dog during this coronavirus pandemic?

Is there a positive test on a dog?

Yes, on March 1, a Pomeranian dog would have tested positive for COVID-19 and other tests. The animal was exposed to the virus after its owners contracted it.

It should be noted that the animal showed no clinical signs of the disease. A blood test was also done, but was negative. This indicates that there are no measurable amounts of antibodies in the blood at this stage.

The OIE states that ”  there is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they get sick”.

Is there a warning that limits contact and cuddling to dogs during confinement?

Only if the owner is infected or likely to be infected with COVID-19, the OIE advises to avoid close contact with animals. Thus,  the Chinese authorities have warned those infected not to kiss their pets. In this case, another person in the house must take care of the animal.

If the sick person is forced to care for their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and use a mask if possible. You can find more information on the health of pets during an epidemic on their website.

Are hugs to dogs not recommended?

According to the OIE,  there is no reason to be afraid of domestic animals as victims or carriers of the coronavirus. Since there is no evidence that they can contract the infection.

The COVID-19 virus appears to be well adapted to spread between people. It is therefore unlikely to attack dogs or cats . Do not be afraid to be with your animals, or to give them a hug.

Many types of viruses, including the common cold, cannot be transmitted between pets and humans.

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