COVID-19 and Dogs: What Owners Need to Know

Posted on September 02 2020

In early June, the first confirmed case of a U.S. dog with the coronavirus was announced by National Veterinary Services Laboratories. While the number of confirmed dog COVID-19 cases in the United States is small, it is understandably concerning for pet owners. Is it possible that your dog could get the coronavirus – and what can you do to prevent it? Here is what you need to know about how COVID-19 can be transmitted to dogs, and what you can do to minimize the risks.

COVID-19 and Dogs: Is there a High Risk of Infection?

The World Health Organization notes that infected humans are able to spread the coronavirus to their dogs, but that there isn’t evidence that dogs can transmit it to humans. In a May 2020 study of dogs, cats, and other animals, it was found that dogs have a low susceptibility to the coronavirus – meaning there isn’t a high risk of infection in dogs. An important side note for households with both cats and dogs: the study found cats to have higher susceptibility to the coronavirus, and that they were able to transmit it to other cats.

This study had a relatively small sample size. Also, since the science is still evolving and a risk is still present, it is important to put safety measures in place to protect your four-legged family member. The World Organisation for Animal Health recommends that people sick or suspected to be infected with COVID-19 limit their contact with their dogs and other animals to minimize the risk of transmission. If there isn’t another household member able to take care of your dog while you’re sick, it is a good idea to wear a face mask when in close contact with your pet. The organization also says that, even when not infected, you should wash your hands before and after handling animals, their food, and their supplies, and avoid kissing, licking, or sharing food.

The bottom line: the pandemic is driven by human to human transmission, and the risk of dogs getting the coronavirus appears to be low based on initial studies. However, since dogs do have some susceptibility, you will want to put the recommended measures in place to keep them healthy.

How to Take Better Care of Your Dog During This Time

In addition to putting a few practices in place to keep your dog safe, you’ll want to help make sure your furry friend is at their optimal health. One of the best ways to keep your dog healthy – during these times and in general – is through high-quality, nutritious food.

Human-grade dog food (which is what we offer at Top Shelf Dog) contains superior ingredients that are considered fit for human consumption. This type of food is packed with vitamins and minerals, and doesn’t contain any nasty fillers like other standard dog foods. It has a wealth of benefits for dogs, including building stronger immunity to fight off illnesses.

Of course, access to pet food is a bit trickier than normal. Many people are choosing to buy their essential goods online to avoid going to stores. In fact, a report at the start of the pandemic from Quantum Metric found that online shopping has increased by 52% in the last year. However, across the supply chain and through the shipping process, it can be difficult for companies to meet these higher demands in a timely manner — especially since they need to put extra safety precautions in place.

With this in mind, in addition to getting fresh, nutritious, restaurant-quality food, you are going to want to find a reliable vendor that sells shelf-stable dog food so that you are able to stock up. That’s a tall order for dog food! Thankfully, we have you covered here at Top Shelf Dog. In addition to being all natural and human grade, our dog food is shelf stable for up to 18 months. This means you can be confident that you’ll always have food on hand to feed your four-legged family member. Don’t worry – it’s shelf stable due to the cooking process, not through the use of artificial preservatives. You won’t find any unnecessary ingredients that serve no purpose for your dog’s actual health.

Stay Safe and Healthy – Both You and Your Dog

While these times are worrisome for pet owners, there are some steps you can take to keep your furry friend healthy. By practicing basic hygiene, avoiding your pet (and other animals) if you’re infected, and feeding your dog nutritious food, you’ll be doing your part to keep your pet safe.