Recently, officials in Hong Kong announced a dog there tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus and has established a quarantine for any dogs showing symptoms of the disease (typically severe diarrhea for an extended period). While it is unclear whether the dog was infected, or just a carrier of the disease, the COAST+RANGE Nutrition and Health Team has prepared a guide to help pet parents deal with this emerging crisis.
What we know about the coronavirus
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, coronaviruses are very common and exist in humans and animals around the world. The COVID-19 coronavirus is a strain that had not previously been detected in humans. The novelty of the virus - and the relative ease with which it seems to spread among humans - are driving the current environment of caution and concern across the world. To protect against the disease, the World Health Organization recommends regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. Respiratory masks do not seem to be an effective barrier to the disease and most health officials have advised against wearing a mask.
Is there any good news?
Yes, the virus can be managed, and several promising vaccines are under development that should be ready for use very soon. COVID-19 can be fatal (90,000 cases / 3,000 deaths as of March 1, 2020), but it appears to be most dangerous for the small part of the population that has an existing infection or compromised immune system.
What pet parents should know about coronavirus COVID-19
The most common means of transmitting a coronavirus between dogs is via the fecal matter of an infected dog. Similar to humans, dogs with existing infections (like parvo) or a compromised immune system (cancer) are most at risk. While it is unlikely that your dog will contract COVID-19, pet parents can take the following steps to help strengthen your dog’s immune system:
- Eat good, clean food loaded with antioxidants like foods from COAST+RANGE
- Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise
- Reduce your dog’s stress level (something that is hard to do when the stock market is riding a roller coaster) by giving them lots of love and praise
If your dog already has an infection or compromised immune system, talk to your veterinarian and consider avoiding dog parks, dog hotels/boarding, and dog shows. Pet parents adopting a dog or puppy should visit their veterinarian as soon as possible for a checkup, as the close quarters of shelters can facilitate transmission of diseases like coronavirus.
Can coronavirus COVID-19 can be transmitted from dogs to humans?
According to the Hong Kong health ministry, there is no evidence yet that the disease can be transmitted from dogs to humans. Their current quarantining of dogs that test positive for the virus is being done as an extreme precaution.
Taking steps to ensure uninterrupted supply
There are many reasons to be happy you are feeding your dog COAST+RANGE foods, like the fact that we don't use fillers, synthetic nutrients, corn, soy, peas, lentils, or chickpeas in our foods.
Another reason to feed COAST+RANGE is that we don't source any of our ingredients from China because of quality and safety concerns. While most pet food companies are beginning to struggle to supply their customers (nearly all use synthetic vitamins made in labs in China), we are insulated from this disruption.
That said, we are taking steps to ensure uninterrupted supply and have imported extra duck from France, salmon from Norway, and have secured a domestic supply of green beans that we currently source from Europe (where the spread of coronavirus appears to be accelerating). We will continue to stay close to our suppliers and bakeries and don't expect any disruption in supply.
Don't hesitate to reach out with questions, and be safe!
The COAST+RANGE Nutrition Team | 24/7 at 866-696-1397