Lockdown is tough on all of us, be it the two-legged creatures or the four-legged ones. Many folks are considering adopting pets as they might be the last thread to sanity. However, a viable question remains on whether they pose any threat to human infection in any way? The impact of COVID-19 on animals isn’t as severe as it is on humans.
Recently contracted animals, a tiger, dog, and a cat who was infected contracted the virus from their human company. No proof has supported the transmission of the virus from animals to humans.
Madeline Bernstein, President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA), tells Inside the Issues it’s OK to continue to adopt animals without fear of contracting the virus.
Accordingly, what scientists do know is pets can act as a surface, and therefore droplets of the virus can remain on the animal or in their nasal passage as a way to transfer the disease. She recommends using the proposed hygiene techniques with your animals while the virus continues to spread.
“So be careful not to hug and kiss and cough all over your cat if you’re feeling sick or your dog because the virus will stay on the surface,” she said. “If you come in contact with this strange dog while you’re out on a walk with your dog and your dog is inhaling poop, keep him away from that, if that’s the kind of thing that your dog likes to do because the virus can be shed in poop.”
As kennels and pet shops shut across the US and Europe, the animals are facing a threat of dying out of hunger. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), scientists have studied the pets-and-health bond for quite some time. Rebecca Johnson, a Professor of Gerontological Nursing at the University of Missouri, has presented findings that suggest that interaction with pets may minimize or even reverse some of the damaging cell changes that occur naturally with aging.
According to Professor Johnson, levels of endorphins, serotonin, and prolactin – elements that can enhance feelings of well-being – increase in study participants during the interaction. In contrast, cortisol levels (stress hormones) decreased.
Elderly citizens isolated in their homes often find solace in the pets. Caring for a pet is a full-time job that brings out parental instincts and lowers anxiety.