Covid: ONS data suggests 1 in 50 have virus in the UK

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The poorly pooch is believed to have contracted the virus, which causes COVID-19, from its owners, who had previously tested positive for COVID. The infection was confirmed last week at an Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge, Surrey. However, experts have assured there is no evidence to suggest the dog was involved in infecting its owners.

There is also no evidence to suggest pets and other domestic animals can spread the coronavirus among humans.

Although the SARS-CoV-2 virus is believed to have jumped onto humans from an animal source – likely bats – transmission has so far been limited to humans.

Experts have now said this is the first case of a dog falling ill with Covid in the UK.

Earlier last year a cat had tested positive for the virus at the same Surrey lab.

The pooch was originally treated for another, unrelated condition and is now said to be recovering.

There have been a handful of cases of dogs being infected with Covid around the globe but these have been very rare.

Symptoms of infections are typically mild and disappear in a matter of days.

Christine Middlemiss, chief veterinary officer, 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. “

Dr Katherine Russell, consultant medical epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Covid-19 is predominantly spread from person to person but in some situations the virus can spread from people to animals.

“In line with general public health guidance, you should wash your hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.”

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