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Can I get COVID-19 from patting the dog?

Can I get COVID-19 from patting the dog?

Thankfully we are allowed to go outside and walk the dog, but is it safe to let someone pat your dog, and are we allow to pat someone else's friendly canine?

Can I get COVID-19 from patting the dog?

“This is a question that I get asked a lot” says Dr Mohsin. And unfortunately the answer is at the moment, patting is a no-go.

Dr Mohsin is the founder of the home doctor service 13 CURE, and the online doctor service PrimeMedic.com.au.

According to Dr Mohsin, all viruses including the coronavirus can stick to hair like any other surfaces such as skin and nails. “Viral particles can sit on your hair. They can even sit on your pet’s hair. It is possible the coronavirus could be passed from hair to hands.”

“My advice is, don’t touch other people’s pets.

“While a low risk, it is possible for the coronavirus to be passed from hair to hands, or collar to hands. Once the viral particles are on your hands, they can be spread by touching your face. The virus enters the body through the mouth, nose and eyes.”

“There may be a small possibility that an animal could transfer viral particles sitting on their hair to humans. Always wash your hands before and after you come into contact with a pet. You don’t know who has patted the animal before you. While the risk is low, there is still a risk.”

To stay safe Dr Mohsin simple tips include:

  • Don’t pat anyone else’s pet
  • Don’t let anyone else pat your pet
  • If someone else pats your pet, wash them immediately
  • Always wash your hands after patting someone else’s pet

“Be careful. This is a new virus and we don’t know too much about it. There is a suggestion that COVID can be transmitted to household pets although there isn’t enough firm evidence to suggest this is an issue. But, don’t take any chances. If you are out walking your dog, make sure you avoid other people. You can go one step further and put a ‘please don’t pat me’ sign on your dog,” Dr Mohsin added.

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