Twickenham vets are advising pet owners on how best to avoid the spread of coronoavirus following a Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong testing positive.
This is the first documented case of coronavirus in an animal and fears are growing as to whether it is possible for animals to transfer the virus.
The Twickenham Veterinary surgery said in a statement: “There’s very little evidence that pets can catch the disease, or that they can transmit COVID-19 between humans.”
The surgery however advised that owners make sure to wash their pet’s paws and living areas after each walk and to avoid letting your pet lick your face.
In a poll published by Yougov yesterday it was found that 49% of dog owners kiss their pet while 34% allow them to lick their face.
Twickenham Veterinary Surgery’s advice to clean pet’s paws would also be tricky to adhere to as dog owner Mark Hallows, 50, said: “It’s a nightmare when the weather is this bad.”
As reported in the Guardian, experts unanimously concluded the dog had a mild case of the virus that it had contracted from its owner.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals estimates there are roughly 9.9 million dogs in the UK with 26% of the population owning one.
Hong Kong’s department for health said: “Pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets.”
Despite vets suggesting owners should refrain from licking or kissing their pets Claire Smith, 49, said: “Dogs are like children and you wouldn’t stop your child from kissing your face.”
With cases of COVID-19 on the rise in the UK Twickenham Veterinary Surgery suggest remaining as hygienic as possible and to refer to a doctor if you’re feeling at risk.