Social distancing in a park

Are pets at risk of getting covid-19 and can they spread it to people?

Social distancing in Domino Park in Brooklyn, New York City

William Volcov/Shutterstock

Reports of pets being infected with the coronavirus have been growing, but how worried should owners be? And could pets be spreading the virus between people?

The first confirmed case of a pet infected with SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes covid-19 – was a Pomeranian dog in Hong Kong that reportedly caught it from its owner in February. Since then, there have been at least 26 more confirmed cases in pet cats and dogs globally.

“However, we really don’t know how many pets have been infected because testing of …