PEOPLE who own dogs are nearly 80% more likely to contract coronavirus than people who don’t, according to a new study.
Experts say that owning a dog carries with it the same health risks as going into the office for work every day during the pandemic.
The study, which was carried out by the University of Granada and the Andalusian School of Public Health, surveyed over 2,000 people in Spain.
It found that a number of activities were linked to an increased risk of testing positive for Covid-19 – including getting your shopping delivered to your home, which raises the risk by a whopping 94% and is actually found to be more dangerous than going to the shops yourself.
Working at the office raises the risk of catching the virus by 76% and owning a dog, and taking it for walks, raises it by 78%.
“The results of our research warns of increased contagion among dog-owners,” said Professor Cristina Sanchez Gonzalez.
“The reason for this higher prevalence has yet to be elucidated. Taking into account the current scarcity of resources to carry out the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in humans, the possibility of diagnosis in dogs is extremely unlikely.”
Prof Sanchez Gonzalez added that there wasn’t enough information available to know whether dogs spread the virus like humans or whether they simply act as a surface upon which the virus can be picked up.
The study argues that areas like dog parks should be shut down as they can act as hives for spreading Covid-19, as the virus may even be passed on in the dogs’ faeces.
Despite this, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the chances of catching Covid-19 from your pet is very slim.
Scientists have noted that our pets can catch Covid-19 from us, but they very rarely get sick.