Dog walking and people who receive 'at home deliveries' are said to be increasing their chances of catching Covid-19.
According to study carried out by Spanish researchers, dog walking and at home delivery services are just two of the top activities which can increase your chance of getting Coronavirus.
The research showed simply walking your dog increased your chances by 78%, meanwhile more alarmingly, receiving a delivery at home increased your risk factor by a whopping 94%.
Different behaviours were analysed as part of the study but they're not the only activities which saw an increased risk - working at the office and walking also made you more vulnerable to the deadly virus.
The study, published in the Environmental Research journal, suggested dogs could be catching the virus and spreading it, or transporting it by touching contaminated surfaces and then their owners.
"The results of our research warn of increased contagion among dog-owners," said Professor Cristina Sánchez González. "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."
While she added it may be possible the virus was spread in their faeces, she said there is not yet enough information to confirm this. As a result the scientists have warned dog owners to be extra careful about hygiene during and after taking their pet outdoors.
The caution comes as there is so far a lack of knowledge about how animals spread the virus - despite confirmed cases of coronavirus in cats and dogs, animals do not appear to actually get unwell.
The study, carried out by the University of Granada and the Andalusian School of Public Health in Spain, undertook a survey of 2,086 people in Spain.
People were asked what they had done during the pandemic and whether they had caught Covid-19. Scientists were then able to see which activities were considered the 'riskiest'.
What are the study findings?
- 4.7% of the group caught Covid at some point – which is around 98 people.
- Activities that were linked to an increased risk of testing positive included taking supermarket deliveries at home, which raised the risk by 94% and was found to be more dangerous than actually going to the shop.
- Working in the office increased the risk by 76%
- Meanwhile someone else testing positive in the household increased the risk by 60 times.
- But the study doesn't show details of other household members and the added risk posed by the dogs.
Professor Sánchez González added, "In the midst of a pandemic and in the absence of an effective treatment or vaccine, preventive hygiene measures are the only salvation, and these measures should also be applied to dogs, which, according to our study, appear to directly or indirectly increase the risk of contracting the virus."
Remember to clean your dog and before and after every walk to limit the risks as well as following the latest government guidelines.