The new coronavirus has put the world on high alert. We’re all concerned about how to stop its spread and how to keep people safe. But for all the information out there, a few questions still linger. How can we protect our pets? Are they safe from the pandemic? Can dogs get coronavirus? Today, we’re answering all those questions.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal (ESA) is the kindest, most loving companion you can have. Especially during the times, we’re living in. They are prescribed to people with a mental health disorder. Their presence is part of therapy. They can help you cope with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and so much more.
Virtually any animal can become an emotional support animal. There are no breed or species restrictions. What’s important is that you can form a close bond with them. It’s this human-animal bond that makes their presence so healing. Doctors have proved it genuinely helps those with mental illness live a better life. That’s why they’re also considered assistance animals—not pets—and have special perks!
What Is This New Coronavirus?
By now, you probably know plenty about this new virus wreaking havoc on the world. It was identified for the first time in China in late 2019. It seems to have originated in a population of bats, but the jury is still out on that one.
It got the name COVID-19 because of its origin. For starters, it’s a new strain of the coronavirus family—but not the only one! SARS and MERS are also coronaviruses. That’s why we tack on the 19 at the end, because of when it was sequenced.
Can Dogs Get Coronavirus?
We’ve mentioned that the starting point of the coronavirus was (potentially) a population of bats. So does that mean that all animals will get sick with COVID-19? What about pets—can dogs get coronavirus?
The short answer is no. There are no reliable recorded cases of dogs sick with the new coronavirus. On top of that, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a statement saying pets don’t get COVID-19.
If you aren’t sick, go ahead and pet Fido all you want!
Can Cats Get Coronavirus?
The same thing goes for our feline friends: cats cannot get coronavirus. There are no known cases of this happening. Don’t start looking at Mittens with suspicion—they’re not at risk at all!
How to Stay Safe During this Pandemic
Since we don’t have any vaccines or meds effective in fighting the new coronavirus, we need to get creative. That means taking drastic measures to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
The single best way to do this is by social distancing. That means avoiding crowds, working from home when possible, and staying home as much as you can. If you don’t come into contact with people who are sick, the virus can’t win!
It won’t be easy, but the most impressive things we’ve ever done weren’t easy either!
Can I Touch My Pet?
If no one in your household is sick, you can touch your pet. In fact, you should do it! Play with them, cuddle up with them—anything to make the time go by faster.
Can a Dog Transmit COVID-19?
COVID-19 is spread between humans, not between pets. That said, you should keep away from other people’s dogs. Why?
Imagine this: Fred is sick. He coughs on his hand and then pets his dog, Fido. You’re at the dog park—who could resist petting that adorable puppy? Without knowing, you now have the coronavirus in your hand. If you touch your eyes, mouth, or nose, it can enter your body and make you sick.
See? It may seem farfetched, but it’s not. For precaution’s sake, avoid petting other dogs. Your puppy at home is fine, though.
Can I Transmit It to My Pet?
Going back to “can dogs get coronavirus,” the answer is no. Even if you’re sick, Fido won’t catch this nasty virus from you.
How Can an ESA Help Me During These Times?
Social distancing, quarantining, and self-isolation are hard. Most people don’t like feeling cooped up at home. After a while, you’ll likely feel lonely and frustrated.
If you’re prone to anxiety or depression, these are likely hard times for you. But you don’t have to feel so alone and so much despair. An emotional support animal can become your best quarantine friend.
Having an ESA by your side can make things much better during these trying times. They’ll be by your side all day to keep you company. Your ESA will better your mental health wellbeing and help you get through this!