Pet owners rejoice: there’s no evidence that pets like dogs or cats can be infected with the coronavirus as of right now, according to the World Health Organization.
Like previous SARS viruses, Covid-19 transmits primarily through droplets of coughing, sneezing, saliva, or discharge from the nose. While pets generate droplets quite easily, there are significant barriers for the virus to jump from humans to animals, and vice versa. WHO now say:
At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.
In China, where most of the people who have been diagnosed with coronavirus live, local officials of a village in Zhejiang province asked all residents to quarantine animals and slaughtered all stray dogs on the street. Another village in China made a similar rule at the end of January to kill animals to contain the spread of the virus.
Covid-19 is thought to have originated from dead animal flesh in a market in Wuhan, which eventually spread to humans. But live animals seem to be safe.