Busting the myth about pets being infected with coronavirus, World Health Organisation (WHO) had said that at present there is no scientific evidence of dogs or cats contracting it. However, with people being advised to stay at home to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus, there can be practical challenges when it comes to taking your pet outdoors for a walk, for instance. That’s because going out with your pet would also increase your risk of exposure to the virus. To solve the problem, pet owners are making sure they go out only when there are not too many people around.
Aniruddho Chakraborty, a pet owner from Delhi, told indianexpress.com, “I am walking our dog but at a time when there are not too many people doing it in the area. Personally, we are not that worried as a family about our pet because there are no verified cases of pets being infected. But we are keeping him away from other dogs now.”
Veterinary physician Dr Inder Singh also suggested that you should clean your pet’s body properly after coming home from a walk. He advised, “You can walk your pet but after coming back, clean the paws properly with a light sanitiser. You can also use tissue wipes available in the market for pets and wipe their body. Sometimes, the pet may have some virus on its body if a person around them is sneezing or coughing. Cleaning them will prevent spreading of the virus.”
Manjush Madhu from Delhi, who also has a dog, ensures she does not walk her pet outside for too long. Talking about the precautionary measures, she said, “Unlike us, you cannot expect pets to be indoors all the time. So I am continuing with her morning and evening walks but not taking her to the park or near other dogs. So far, most reports seem to suggest that pets are not under risk. That said, I am not taking my dog out for too long. Otherwise, we have pretty much stuck to her usual routine.”
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also confirmed that there is no scientific evidence of pets spreading coronavirus.
It is further recommended that you do not put masks on animals as this can cause difficulty in breathing. If you have any symptoms or are under medical attention for COVID-19, avoid close contact with your pet so that the virus does not get on their fur.