Coronavirus is contagious between humans and so far there have not been any reports of our dogs catching the strain anywhere in the world.
Coronavirus (COVI-19) is an umbrella name for a group of viruses in which can cause illness and affects humans and animals. The strain which causes respiratory illnesses in humans is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and now Coronavirus (COVID-19) according to the Wold Health Organisation (WHO).
There is a strain of Canine Coronavirus (CCoV) which is not the same as COVID-19. Discovered in 1971, Canine Coronavirus presents gastroenteritis symptoms in dogs however, it has mutated to cause respiratory illnesses in dogs also. Again, this is not the same Coronavirus affecting humans now.
The Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and conservation department (AFCD) are “strongly recommending” that dog owners who are infected should also quarantine their dogs for 14 days.. So far, no advice has been given in the UK to follow suit.
If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your dog, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with your pets.
So no, it’s currently not thought your dog cannot catch Coronavirus but, as the length of time the virus can be present on a surface is unknown, there is scope for them to have it on their body if they’ve had contact with the virus. As it is a new strain information is constantly emerging, so it doesn’t hurt to be cautious.
What happens if you find yourself in isolation, with your dog?
Indoor games like snuffle mats, hide their kibble in them.
Sniffing is actually a calming exercise for your dog and it can help them relax if they are stressed.
Divide their food into 2 or 3 so you can do more enrichment games during the day.
Lickie Mats or Lickie bowl
Smear them with any of the following options
Peanut butter (Make sure that the peanut butter you use does not contain Xylitol as it is toxic to dogs).
Sweet Potato Mash
Cream Cheese, careful to not use too much. You can always combine it with the sweet potato mash.
Banana mashed up, you can always add some natural yoghurt
or ready made Baby food this a great to grab to use as a quick fix then I pop them in the freezer to make them last a bit longer
Find it games are also fun
Practice training tips like sit, down, wait, stand or watch me.
I am sure there are plenty on YouTube to watch for ideas.
I love practicing hand signals to Bella which we learnt in advanced training when she was 18 months old and we still do them now.
Anything you do with your dog is great at strengthening your bond and building your dogs confidence too.
It will be tough going through self isolation but so much easier with the love of your dog.
Prepare for yourselves but prepare for your dog too.
Written by Sarah Jones @ My Anxious Dog