A Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong has been the first to test positive for coronavirus, and is currently being held in quarantine.
Experts say this is likely to have been a human-animal transmission and the dog is not showing any visible symptoms of the infection.
Veterinary care app, Joii said naturally pet owners in the UK are concerned about their own animals and vets for Joii have had an increase in questions from pet owners about the coronavirus in the last two weeks.
Ella Preston, veterinary surgeon for Joii, said: “For anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 the advice is have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.
“If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face-mask.
She added: “This will help reduce other infections passing to you from your pet whilst your immune system is weakened, such as salmonella and E.coli.
“Just like the NHS 111 service allows patients to access advice without visiting a doctors surgery and risking spreading or catching infections, there are similar services for pets and it’s especially helpful for minor complaints.”
She concluded: “For those pet owners trying to avoid crowded places like a veterinary surgery or Googling their pets symptoms to see how serious their ailment is, our app allows them to access a video call with a vet from the comfort of their home. The vet will help to answer questions, check pets over and advise if they need to be seen at a vet clinic or can be treated at home.”
The WHO (World Health Organisation) and WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) are reliable sources for COVID-19 updates and state there is currently no evidence that the coronavirus COVID-19 can infect or be spread by companion animals like cats and dogs. It is a good idea to continue good hygiene with pets anyway, for example, make sure to wash your hands after touching your pets or other animals.