Environmental Research Journal found that people who walk their dogs have an increased risk of catching COVID-19.
Researchers tracked more than 2,000 people in Spain during the country’s initial lockdown in the spring.
The scientists found that a person who walks their dog increases their risk of contracting the coronavirus by 78%.
The study notes that it is unclear if dogs acted as a host vector for the virus, or if the individual owners came into contact with COVID-19 elsewhere in their day-to-day lives.
But the authors say dog owners must pay extra careful attention to personal hygiene as the cold season falls upon us and the virus resurges.
The full scientific study is published in the journal here.
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