UPDATE: The WHO has changed its position on coronavirus and dogs
Pet owners don't need to panic, but there has been an update from the World Health Organization on pets and coronavirus.
This morning saw an update to the World Health Organization's position on coronavirus and pets, so here's what you need to know to keep your furry friends as safe as possible.
Yesterday, the WHO's coronavirus myth-buster page said there was no evidence that animals such as dogs or cats could be infected with virus. Today, that section has been removed.
Understandably, this has raised new concerns for pet owners, but the revised stance isn't dramatically different as there has been no new evidence to date
The WHO writes on the updated 'Q & A' section of their website that:
"While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19"
It has been widely reported this week that a Hong Kong dog belonging to a coronavirus patient had tested 'weakly positive' to the virus.
Authorities believe the dog contracted COVID-19 from its owner, but there is still “no evidence” pets transmit the virus to humans. According to a report from the World Health Organization for Animal Health, there’s no evidence that dogs can spread the disease, or that the disease can cause an animal to fall ill, though further studies may bring new findings.
The organization is advising pet owners infected, or susceptible of being infected with the coronavirus, to avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of the household care for the animals where possible.
The WHO's advice of washing your hands with soap and water before and after contact with pets still stands and is currently still the best way to protect your pets. With further studies conducted daily, we will keep you updated with the latest findings.