There's a lot of misinformation out there surrounding Covid-19 and dogs. We're seeing lots of conflicting opinions on Facebook regarding the spread of Covid-19 on dog's coats, what pet businesses are deemed as 'essential' and allowed to stay open, if we are allowed to drive somewhere to walk our dogs and lots more.
With this article, we're hoping to shed some light on the truth surrounding this time of confusion in Dorset.
Can my dog have Covid-19?
This is a hotly debated topic which is rightly causing people concern. Can dogs have Corvid-19? The answer is no.
You may have seen an article a few weeks ago that talked about a dog being quarantined because it had 'low-level' version of the virus.
By low-level, they are referring to a version of the virus that doesn't showcase any of the symptoms or can be spread to people or other animals. This would automatically make it a non-event.
However, numerous organisations have made statement stating that animals cannot catch the virus. For example, WHO (World Health Organisation) released a statement on March 13th that states:
'at present there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs and cats can be infected with Covid-19'
Can my dog carry Covid-19?
This one is a bit different.
By 'carry', I am referring to Covid-19 being on your dog's fur due to someone stroking them, and being transferred this way. It is estimated that Covid-19 can live on your dog's fur for up to twenty-four hours. As such, we recommend that when out walking your dog you ensure they do not come into physical contact with any other person or dog not in your household.
We also recommend that you walk your dog on a lead or a long line for the duration of the lockdown to ensure you can maintain social distancing.
What pet businesses are open?
There was also a lot of confusion surrounding what pet businesses are able to be open during the lockdown. In short, only shops that supply pet food are currently allowed to be open.
This means that groomers, dog walkers and dog-boarders, dog trainers and behaviourists, physiotherapists and hydrotherapists are closed. Any of the above that is still working in an 'in-person' capacity is not only breaking the law, but will not be covered by their insurance provider.
Lots of pet professionals are moving into providing online content, and we have done online behavioural consultations and classes with great success.
Veterinary practices are still open, but only for critical cases. Some are beginning to do deliveries of various medication including flea and worming treatment however. It is better to chat with your local vets to see what services they are offering.
Can I drive to walk my dog?
This is perhaps the most hotly contested one.
To start with, yes you could. But in various counties there seems to be lots of chopping and changing.
In Dorset however, you can't. It is not counted as 'essential travel', and you are expected to walk your dog from your house. There is currently no limit on how far or for how long you can walk your dog however.
I won't comment on the arguments for both sides. But at this crucial time, it's important that we respect the law and what is being asked of us.
I hope this article has helped shed some light on some of the confusion, and any questions please do feel free to contact us via our Facebook page or email at firstname.lastname@example.org