With the ever-evolving and the super fast-changing situation surrounding COVID 19 and the ripple effects this is having not only on everyday life but other activities are of major concern to us all. Like everyone else, at Waikato Canine, we take the health and well being of our Instructors, Handlers, and dogs with paramount importance.
Like many other clubs and volunteer organisations tackling the issues associated around COVID 19, we are being guided by the Ministry of Health (MOH). As well as taking the MOH guidelines into consideration, we have sought our own medical advice, at this time the Committee has decided that it is in the best interest of all involved to cancel training classes for Term 2, 2020 (Term 2 – 28th April to 30th June).
This decision has not been made lightly by our Committee and we are all disappointed and totally guttered, to say the least. Of course, you are all disappointed too but it is our belief that in this instance it is best to err on the side of caution especially with it being a winter term and that our decision is in the best interest of all concerned and the wider community. It’s a small part that we can play in the bigger game to hopefully help stop the spread of this virus.
Obviously, we will continue to monitor the situation closely. As events unfold over the next few months the Committee will continue to communicate with each other and make decisions on future training classes as required. This situation is far from ideal and like everyone else, we are doing our best to keep all concerned safe and well.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for enrolment announcements.
Q. Can my dog spread COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
A. At present, there is no evidence that companion animals such as dogs or cats can be infected with COVID-19. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.
Q. Can my dog catch coronavirus?
A. Probably not. There is no conclusive evidence that dogs can spread COVID-19 to humans. An infected person with COVID-19 may sneeze or pass the virus onto their animal’s fur which could spread the virus to other people.
Q. Wasn’t there a dog in Hong Kong that tested positive?
A. In late February a dog who was in isolation with its owner was tested and returned a “weak positive” result for coronavirus. It is believed this may be a case of a human transmitting the disease to a dog (and not the other way round). There is still no evidence of animals posing a risk of spreading COVID-19. The dog has not showen any clinical signs and subsequent blood work done on the dog have tested negative.
Q. What should I do to protect my dog?
A. At this stage, the best thing is to practice good hygiene. The risk of your dog catching coronavirus is very low and there is no evidence that it could give it to you. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with animals.
Q. What should I do if my animal gets sick?
A. As always, talk to your vet and follow their advice. If you can, ring them first, particularly if you are unwell, have been in contact with someone who is unwell or are self-isolating. It may be best to arrange for someone else to take your animal to the vet if it needs to be seen so that you can remain isolated.
Q. What should I do for my animal if someone in my home gets coronavirus or is in isolation?
A. If you or someone in your home is in isolation, the same process applies for animals as human members of the household.
If the person in isolation has not had close contact with the animal during the isolation period or the 2 weeks before that, they should try to minimise their contact with it and other household members. If possible, find someone who is well and not in isolation to help care for the animal. If the isolated person has to do it, they should wash their hands before and afterwards and wear a facemask (this is recommended by the World Organisation for Animal Health and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association).
This advice has been given by the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.