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08 Dec 2021

Family pet believed to have caught Covid-19 from owner

Family pet believed to have caught Covid-19 from owner

File photo

A pet dog has caught Covid-19, with evidence suggesting the dog may have caught the virus from its owner.

It is believed to be the first case if its kind in the UK.

The dog was diagnosed with covid-19 by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge on 3 November after its owner had previously tested positive for Covid-19.

The pet dog is now recovering at home. 

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: "Tests conducted by the Animal and Plant Health Agency have confirmed that the virus responsible for Covid-19 has been detected in a pet dog in the UK. The infected dog was undergoing treatment for another unrelated condition and is now recovering.

"It is very rare for dogs to be infected and they will usually only show mild clinical signs and recover within a few days.

"There is no clear evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update our guidance to pet owners should the situation change."

The case has been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health. There have been a very small number of confirmed cases in pets in other countries in Europe, North America and Asia.

Owners and people who work with animals have been advised to wash their hands regularly for good hygiene.

It is also believed that animal fur can act as a carrier for the Covid-19 virus for short periods of time, in the same way as other surfaces, such as door handles.

Pet owners have been advised not to share food, food bowls or utensils with their pet.

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