I Can Has Cheezburger?

Coronavirus Outbreak: Chinese Pet Owners Rush To Buy Face Masks For Their Dogs Too

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    The Professor, who is a member of the senior expert team from China's National Health Commission, cautioned that "pet owners should take extra care of their animals because the virus 'spreads between mammals'.

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    Zhou Tianxiao, a Beijing-based online seller, says he is now selling 10 times the number of special masks for dogs every day than before.

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    Huge peak in sales since the Corona virus outbreak

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    He started trading canine-specific face masks on Chinese e-commerce site Taobao in 2018 to help pets fight air pollution but since the coronavirus broke out late last month, Mr. Zhou has seen his sales volume soaring from 150 masks per month to at least 50 pieces a day: "Most dogs have started to wear masks. Because there is this virus, people pay more attention to their health and their pets' health. The dog masks might not be as professional as the medical masks made for humans, but they are functional. Their main purposes are to block out smog, stop dogs from eating or licking food on the floor and prevent them from being exposed to the virus,' He told The NY Post.

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    Prevention is a priority

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    Mr. Zhou, who has a six-year-old border collie called Sylar, a celebrity dog who is living his best life and owns a $500,000 pet mansion in Beijing, China, adds that "Dogs may not be willing to put on the protective devices at the beginning, but 'compared to risking their lives, prevention is a priority'".

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    But some vets have different opinion:

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    Anne Kimmerlein,  a veterinary epidemiologist for VCA Animal Hospitals — told People that, as a vet, she "would not recommend face masks for dogs, especially using face masks meant for humans on dogs. While pictures of Chinese dogs wearing face masks are showing up online, there's no scientific evidence that these masks protect dogs from either infectious diseases or air pollutants. Dogs' faces have a lot more variation than human faces do, meaning that a face mask designed to fit one type or breed of dog is unlikely to fit most others. Additionally, we cannot explain to a dog why we are putting something potentially scary or uncomfortable on their face."

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