Treat pets well in the epidemic

31 March 2020

Recently in Hong Kong, a pet dog was confirmed having a mild infection of the COVID-19 virus, representing the first reported case in the world. Nonetheless, pet owners need not be overly worried. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) stated that from previous experience, the amount of novel coronavirus found in the bodies of cats and dogs would gradually diminish. Antibodies would also be developed in pets to neutralise the virus, leading to their recovery.

The AFCD further stressed that there is currently not much worldwide evidence to show that infected dogs would transmit the virus to humans, particularly given the limited numbers of infected cases. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) reminded members of the public to understand that a dog “being infected” does not mean it will “spread the virus” nor “can it be a source for spreading the COVID-19 virus”.

In addition, SPCA advised pet owners to maintain stringent personal hygiene including cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub after having contact with pets; wearing masks when going out; and seeking advice from a veterinarian as soon as possible if their pet’s health conditions deteriorate.

Click into news.gov.hk to learn more advice from the AFCD.