Until now, there has been no evidence that companion animals and pets like dogs or cats can be infected with the new strain of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. No cases have been reported of pets being infected with new viruses in humans or passed the human virus to their pets.
The first case about a dog all over the world tested positive for the virus.
Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) from Hong Kong report that samples from the dog had "weak positive" for 2019 coronavirus. There were no symptoms in the dog and he was quarantined for 14 days.
How could a dog test positive with covid-19?
Well, it is noticeable that coronaviruses can live on surfaces and objects for a long time. So in the same way, coronavirus could be present on the surface of a dog or cat, even if the dog or cat hasn't contracted the virus.
Does SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spread from animals to humans?
Of the last two main types of coronaviruses transmitted to humans, transmission occurs through intermediate hosts: masked civets (SARS) and dromedary camels (MERS).
Although uncommon, coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2) can be transmitted from animals to humans. Other domestic and wild mammals and bats can be virus hosts that can cross species barriers to infect humans.
Novel Coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2), now officially called COVID-19 or Corona Virus Disease, is thought to originate from bats and be transmitted to humans via an intermediate host.
Some pet owners even buy face masks for dogs amid coronavirus outbreak.
Until we know more, avoid contact with animals and wear a face mask if you must be around animals or care for a pet.
However, it is best to follow WHO practice: wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. This also protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans. Key to note is pet owners should stick to the basics: good hygiene.