Despite coronavirus fears, pet health should still be monitored

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – As fears about coronavirus continue to escalate, so do the questions surrounding who can catch the virus and how its spread.

Within the past month, two dogs were quarantined at a facility in Hong Kong. One dog was taken in by authorities due to a “weak positive result” and the other due to exposure to humans with coronavirus.

According to the World Health Organization(WHO), right now dogs cannot spread COVID-19.

“….there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit covid-19. Covid-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.”

World Health Organization, Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)

According to Dr. Sonny King at Smith Animal Hospital, pets do have their own different strain of coronavirus.

“Coronavirus is actually a large family of viruses. Dogs and cats do have a coronavirus but it’s an intestinal virus,” said Dr. Sonny King.

Even though dogs cannot catch COVID-19, they could possibly help to carry it from one person to another.

For example, if a person coughs, sneezes or speaks to your dog, the droplets can land on their fur. When you pet the dog right after, those same droplets are now on your hands.

So it’s important to stay cautious about who you allow around your pet.

“If you have it and you’re loving your pet then somebody doesn’t need to walk in right behind you and love your pet,” Dr. Sonny King said.

Although pets cannot be directly affected, if a pet owner falls sick with the virus that means your pet could be deprived of attention, walks or possibly food.

It’s important to have plenty of dog food and toys to keep them occupied while fighting this virus.

“If you’re not able to get out and walk or you can’t go to the park like you normally do keep bones around so they can chew on, and keep toys around to keep them active while you recover,” Summer Paisley, store manager at Paisley Paws, said.

For more information about pets and coronavirus, please visit our the World Health Organization website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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