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06/04/2020 14h00

BALANCE CLARIFIES 9 MYTHS ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CORONAVIRUS AND PETS

Veterinary specialist of BRF's premium dog food brand suggests redoubling animal hygiene care and avoiding going to pet shops

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São Paulo, March 30, 2020 - With the advancement of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Brazil and in the world, society faces coexistence restrictions to reduce the spread of contamination. In a country that has more than 139.3 million pets, according to the IBGE census, this behavior change is also reflected in the relationship with pets. 

Therefore, Balance, BRF's premium dog food brand, is promoting questions on its social networks for consumers with specialists. Tomorrow, on Tuesday, the brand brings Comport Pet animal behavior expert Cleber Santos, with tips to reduce pet stress during quarantine and how to make better use of time at home to use up your dog's energy.

And to clarify the most recurring doubts about the relationship between the new coronavirus and pets, BRF veterinarian and R&D analyst Mariane Ernandes explains 9 main myths on the subject. These are: 

1.      Can pets be infected with Covid-19?

There is no scientific evidence that pets can be infected with SARS-Cov-2. The World Association of Veterinary Clinics for Small Animals monitors the evolution of the disease and is constantly updating this scenario. 

2.      Can my dog transmit the disease?

The animal is not a disease transmitting host. However, if the owner is infected with the coronavirus and is in contact with the pet (for example, when coughing and sneezing, it can spread particles with the virus). Thus, the fur of the animal can be a contact transmission source like any other type of surface, because if another person touches the contaminated fur, there is no guarantee that there will be no transmission. The specialist reinforces the importance of hygiene care to avoid contagion, such as washing your hands with soap and water more often, making use of alcohol gel and avoiding touching your face whenever you stroke your pet.

3.      Does the V10 vaccine prevent the animal from being a focus of transmission?

Dogs and cats, as well as other pets such as birds and reptiles, are not transmitters of the disease. “The V10 vaccine is against another type of coronavirus that has no association with COVID-19, a type of coronavirus that is associated with the current pandemic outbreak,” she says. The type of coronavirus that can affect animals are alphacoronaviruses, which usually infect young animals: canine coronavirus, can cause mild diarrhea and feline coronavirus, which causes feline infectious peritonitis. 

4.      Can I keep going for walks outside of the home, like squares and parks?

According to the Federal Council of Veterinary Medicine, walks can be maintained, provided they are short, in open places and away from agglomerations. “There are many animals that need to go out to do their business on the street, in which case we advise that it is close to home and that the pet does not rub itself on any surface,” Mariane said. 

5.      What are the main hygiene precautions I should have with my pet?

Whenever you go out with the animal, on your way home, sanitize the pet's paws with soap and water, alcohol gel or wipe a cloth moistened with alcohol in the composition. It is also important to always keep water and feed containers clean, in addition to the toys used by them, as they are shared between the animal and the people who share the space. “Hygiene tips apply to both dogs and cats. Despite the low frequency of leaving the house and the small interaction with humans during exits, cats require the same hygiene control,” says the doctor.

6.       Do I need to change my dog's diet on quarantine days?

According to the specialist, diet varies from animal to animal, as it needs to consider the size and level of activity of the pet. “If the dog is very active, it used to expend a lot of energy and if it keeps eating the same amount without using it up, it will gain weight,” she highlights. Another factor is that with quarantine, more people are at home offering snacks and foods between meals to the animal, which results in extra calories.

7.       How can we control the animal's stress, especially in smaller spaces such as apartments?

It is of the utmost importance that there is a lot of interaction with pets during this period, in which there will be more people at home and it will have less time away from home, such as outdoor walks  New toys can help, as well as the more creative ones, which hold the feed inside. “It is essential to keep the animal's mind active during this period,” Mariane says. For example, on its official website, Balance presents several tricks indicated by animal behavior specialist Cleber Santos.

8.       Can I keep taking my pet to the pet store for a shower and a trim? What precautions should we take?

The guidance is to take the animal to the pet shop if necessary, if it really is impossible to bathe and trim at home. If you choose to take it, it is recommended for only one person to go in order to avoid social contact. The same goes for clinics: care remains standardized, but the guidance is to take all hygiene measures.

9.       Can I hug and kiss my pet?

For healthy people, there is no restriction whatsoever, that is, they can continue with the same habits and interactions with their animals. The recommendation to avoid contact with pets is only for people with coronavirus.

The expert indicates that the moment calls for redoubled care with pets inside and outside the home and emphasizes the importance of people seeking information. “It is important to clarify the main myths on the subject because there is no evidence to indicate that the pet may contract the disease and that it is a host that transmits Covid-19,” concludes Mariane.

About Balance

Balance is the Premium Special pet food made with healthier ingredients, with a high level of protein and which has no artificial colorings and flavorings. Developed by veterinary nutritionists who believe that your dog deserves a nutritious and balanced diet, ideal to ensure a healthy and active life for the pet. It can be found in retail throughout the country, and is available for puppies and adults in small and medium/large versions.

Find out more at www.balance.com.br

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