'No evidence' that pets can catch or transmit coronavirus, reassures ISPCA
"It is important for pet owners to understand the facts."
There is no evidence to suggest that pets can catch or transmit coronavirus.
The ISPCA is reassuring the public that there is no evidence to say that Covid-19 can be spread from dogs, cats, or other animals to humans.
This is also the position of the HSE, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).
ISPCA CEO Andrew Kelly said that despite a recent news article about a dog belonging to a COVID-19 patient in Hong Kong, there is no evidence to suggest that animals can pass on the virus.
"Authorities in Hong Kong believe it is likely to be a case of human to animal transmission but stress that it is not cause for alarm, as there is no indication that animals can spread the virus, i.e. being infected does not necessarily mean being infectious," he said.
"Furthermore, the dog never showed any signs of illness. While there are coronaviruses specific to dogs and cats, it’s important to remember that they cannot affect humans.
"Human-to-human transmission is the main route of transmission for COVID-19, especially through cough or sneeze droplets. It is advised therefore to avoid close contact with people exhibiting fever and coughing, to wash hands regularly, and to wear a face mask if coughing."
Kelly added that it is important for pet owners to be aware of the facts around Covid-19, and to ensure that they have sufficient pet food, medication and supplies for the pet in the event of self isolation.