It is a dog’s best friend.
When you get a cold, cough or sore throat, your dog may try to protect you by biting and sniffing you.
That’s when a virus comes into your body, which may spread around the house or in your yard, infecting the pets.
The bacteria can cause a cough or runny nose, which can then spread to other animals or humans.
But the virus is also a real threat to dogs.
It can cause inflammation of the skin, and the more the dog coughs, the more likely that the bacteria can get into the eyes, nose and ears, which are the sensitive organs of dogs.
So what are the symptoms of dog hacking?
How common is it?
Dogs can be infected with canine coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, for the first time at a young age.
But it is not clear whether the virus spreads through bites.
It is believed that there are around 3,500 cases of canine coronivirus in Ireland, with about 500 of them in children under five.
There is a lot of information out there on the virus, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that it could be around 7% of cases in Ireland.
How do I protect myself?
Be sure to keep your pet vaccinated against COVID.
The best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands frequently and wear a mask and long sleeves.
Make sure that you clean and disinfect your pets and their food regularly.
If you live in a rural area, look for places where dogs can be allowed to play.
You can also make sure that dogs are kept on a leash, and if you live close to schools, make sure there are no dogs running around and at large.
If your pet coughs up anything, like urine or faeces, call the Garda Ombudsman.
You might be able to use a spray to clean it up.
The Ombudsman has been set up to investigate complaints about dog hacking and to take enforcement action against owners who do not follow the law.
Are there any other things you can do?
The best thing you can give your dog is a good supply of food, water and exercise.
If possible, ensure your dog has access to a good outdoor environment, such as grass and grassland, so that they can play with other dogs.
Be sure your dog’s owners have regular access to their dog’s food.
The good news is that COVID is spread through direct contact.
If the cough, runny-nose or sneeze is from an infected person, there is no need to treat it with antibiotics.
In cases where there is a risk of transmission, you may want to give your pet a vaccination, but it is important that they receive one every six months.
If there is not enough evidence of infection to treat, it may be possible to take your pet to a vet for a COVID test.