Can my dog get COVID-19? We've got the answers

An Update on Your Dog's Risk for COVID-19 and Steps We Take For Safe Manufacturing

It has been awhile since we've done an update on COVID-19. 

If you have been watching the news you have likely read about the mutation in the strain of COVID-19 impacting the United States and Europe. A tiny change on the outer spike - the protein on the covering of the virus that attaches the virus to human cells is now 10x more effective at its job. That means the strain of the virus in the United States is approximately 10x more infectious than the original strain of the virus that originated in China. 

To date, 5 dogs, 5 cats, 1 tiger, and 1 lion have been lab confirmed with SARS-CoV-2.Notably, 58% of the cases have been in New York, where the US has seen the highest number of human cases. 

Type of Animal Date Confirmed State Method of Initial Diagnosis*
Tiger~ April 4, 2020 New York PCR
Lion~ April 15, 2020 New York PCR
Cat~ April 22, 2020 New York PCR
Cat~ April 22, 2020 New York PCR
Dog~ June 1, 2020 New York PCR, Ab
Cat~ June 1, 2020 Minnesota PCR
Cat~ June 4, 2020 Illinois PCR
Dog~ June 24, 2020 New York Ab
Dog~ June 24, 2020 New York Ab
Dog~ July 1, 2020 Georgia PCR
Dog~ July 8, 2020 Texas PCR
Cat~ July 8, 2020 California PCR

As the number of human cases grow nationally, the number of dogs, cats and other animals confirmed with SARS-CoV-2 will continue to increase. As we said previously, a virus jumping species is very rare but possible. The more exposed your dog or cat is to the virus, the more opportunity the virus has to jump species (again). 

If you missed our steps for keeping your house and your dog safe from COVID-19, you can download our tip sheet here

What You Need to Know About Masks or Cloth Facial Coverings 

As infection rates continue to rise, 22 Governors (as of 7/12/20) have issued an executive order mandating masks are worn in public areas: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. 

Since mask wearing isn't very common in the United States we wanted to take a few minutes to talk about masks, mask quality, and their effectiveness. 

DIY masks and the masks you buy do not provide 100% protection against COVID-19. Even the N95 mask, as the name implies, filters out only 95% of all small particles.

That is why it is important to layer protection (just like you do when using  holistic methods for protecting your dog's health). Washing hands, wearing a cloth facial covering, a face shield and social distancing are the only tools we have right now. When you combine all of these tools, you have a greater chance of not becoming infected. This is especially true as the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects through the mucous membranes (your nose, mouth and eyes). Here is some great information on masks from the Colorado Mask Project on how to pick a mask and even a pattern if you want to sew your own! 

In short, you want any cloth facial covering you use to be 2-3 layers thick. Some of the more common DIY masks are 2 layers thick with the ability to add a filter. They should fit snugly around The bridge of your hose and cover both your nose and mouth. 

A word about how 4-Legger is continuing to operate in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and some minor changes you may see.  With much of the source material needed to make our US manufactured bottles and caps being diverted to make PPE, we have had to make temporary changes in order to keep up with production. What that means is that we are now using a slightly different bottle and cap. We are committed to maintaining our supply chain in the United States so instead of our standard disc cap, you may get a bottle with a flip cap or a slightly shorter-necked bottle than we normally use.  This is a temporary change and as soon as the supply chain has corrected itself, we will begin using the bottles and caps you are accustomed to with 4-Legger.  Don't worry, even these temporary “covid caps and bottles” are still recyclable and safe!  Part of our continuing commitment to maintain the standards of health, safety and environmental responsibility that we hold so dear.  

We've written previously about how 4-Legger organic dog shampoo is even more effective at destroying viruses than alcohol based hand sanitizers or detergent-based cleansers while also being less drying on your hands! 

We know you rely on your dog's organic dog shampoo to keep your dogs clean and safe from toxins and perhaps you even use it to wash your own hands knowing it’s ability to destroy the virus.  During these uncertain times it is normal to have concerns about the supply and safety of the products you rely on in your home. We wanted to reassure you of the steps we are taking which include the following: 

  • Closely monitoring the availability of source ingredients and being proactive in maintaining our ability to continue production
  • We have restricted delivery and pick-ups to the shipping bay area and clean it on a regular basis
  • Four times a day we sanitize all door handles, hand rails, bathrooms, equipment, common rooms and work stations
  • Everyone in production has always worn (even before COVID-19) Tyvek coats, gloves and facial masks when filling any product. That will continue. 
  • Anyone with symptoms will stay home for two weeks paid time off
  • Encourage testing for COVID-19 
  • Maintaining strict social distancing as recommended and/or mandated by the CDC or State Public Health Officials 
  • Washing our hands A LOT with 4-Legger organic dog shampoo located at every sink
The past few months has been extremely difficult. Unprecedented in any of our lifetimes and we know how stressful it has been to juggle and often completely reinvent how even the most basic daily tasks are now accomplished. 
We thank you for your faithful and loyal support. So many small businesses are struggling to survive and we cannot fully express the gratitude we feel that you have continued to support 4-Legger through your commitment to keep your beloved pets as safe and healthy as possible, even in (and maybe especially in) these uncertain times. 

Stay safe and wash your paws!