Pet dogs and cats are not at risk of coronavirus infection, says PETA. (Source: Getty Images)
Even as the veterinary doctors and dog experts maintain that pets not in contact with a coronavirus patient do not pose any threat, they suggest caution for dog lovers and their pets in view of the COVID-19 spread.
The doctors advise that people should not get too close to dogs and should avoiding kissing the mouth of their pets.
Owner of a dog training and breeding centre in Mohali, Newton Sidhu said, “The 21 days lockdown is a long time not only for human but also for their pets. Dogs, who are habituated to go out everyday with their caretakers, need to follow their outing schedules. Pet lovers, who have their independent rooftops, they should take their dogs on the roof every morning and evening. They can also tie the dogs in the balcony. Pet owners should also engage in indoor games with their dogs.. while maintaining the hygiene practices. They should wash their hands before and after handling their pets.”
A veterinary officer at the UT Animal and Husbandry Department, Dr Kanwarjit Singh said, “There is not a single case reported globally when a dog has infected someone with COVID-19, but people are inquiring about it. In Hong Kong, two pet dogs’ deaths were reported linked to COVID-19. In one of the case, pet owner was found to be suffering from COVID-19. In India, no such cases were reported. We always advise people to maintain hygiene while dealing with their dogs.”
Around 6,556 pet dogs of different breeds including domestic and imported are registered in Chandigarh. There are people who have more than two dogs in one house.
Dog trainer, Sonu said, “Precaution is the best thing. Dog owners should wash the foot of their dogs with Dettol, which is an antiseptic. This practice will also save pets from getting infected from ticks. Indeed, next 21 days long lockdown time will also be a testing time for pets. People should engage in indoor games with their pets. Even jick-jacks/obstacles especially designed for dogs can help. Do not adopt the practice of letting your dog roam about while you remain in the house. Indeed, there are a number of pet dogs, who have a habit of pooping outside their house. In this case, people should make necessary arrangements. These dogs can excete on the rooftops in morning and evening.”