Experts warn putting masks on pets could kill them

Woman and her dog wearing masks. (PHOTO: Cavan Images/Getty Images)
Woman and her dog wearing masks. (PHOTO: Cavan Images/Getty Images)
Cavan Images

Don’t do it.

The use of facemasks for people has become widespread worldwide. It’s even being enforced in public spaces as it’s the best way to prevent contracting the coronavirus hich is responsible for the global health crisis.

Experts have issued a warning following an emerging trend of people posting pictures on social media of their dogs and cats with masks on.

This comes as some owners fear that their beloved pets may contract coronavirus after a cat tested positive for Covid-19, the first case of its kind in the United Kingdom, The Sun reports.

Dr Melissa Meehan, a veterinarian from Australia claims that forcing animals to wear masks can cause considerable stress and anxiety for them.

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Cats and dogs may even die in an extreme case after severe distress, dr Meehan told Yahoo News.

“As a vet I’m constantly treating dogs and cats that suffer from stress and anxiety which impacts on their health and mental wellbeing and also causing behavioural issues.

“Putting a mask on a dog or cat can absolutely cause distress,” she said.

Dr Meehan also adds that the masks may impact an animal’s breathing and may be especially hard on breeds of animals that are predisposed to breathing difficulties.

Daniel Andrews, the Premier of Victoria in Australia, has been guilty of posting snaps of pets wearing a face mask, the Mirror reports.

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He shared a photo on his Instagram of his golden retriever, saying he was “a great mask model too”.

Dog behaviourist and author, Lara Shannon, said she was incredibly disappointed by the politician’s actions.

“I understand the importance of getting the message of wearing a mask out to the community and how to do so properly, however, not at the expense of pets,” she said.

Can pets get Covid19?

Covid-19 mostly spreads from person to person, but it can spread from people to animals.

The virus that causes Covid-19 is believed to have started in an animal which then spread to humans and is now spreading between people.

A few pets have been infected with the virus in the United States and the United Kingdom. This occurred after the animals were in close contact with people who were infected with the virus.

The risk of pets spreading the virus to people is considered low and there’s currently no evidence that suggests the virus can spread to other people or animals from a pet’s skin, fur or hair.

Source: The Sun, Yahoo News, Mirror, Instagram, Mayo Clinic

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