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Pets need to be kept in the family bubble during New Zealand’s lockdown, too, an infectious disease expert says.

Professor David Hayman, an infectious disease ecology expert at Massey University’s veterinary science school, said pets had to follow this too – and he urged people to treat their pets “as if it’s someone you do care for and love”.

“If I cough on my hands, stroke a dog’s head, and then a kid comes along, strokes the dog’s head, and then touches their face … that’s a way of transferring infection.”

The lockdown was not a reason for people to stop walking their dogs or riding their horses, he said, but contact with others should be limited.


PHOTO/Alina Hvostikova

Hayman encouraged people with cats to keep them inside, as they tend to roam.

People should be conscious of contact with their own pet too, he said. Hands are fine if washed, but faces should be kept apart because the virus can enter through the nose and mouth.

he World Organisation for Animal Health has received reports from Hong Kong and China about two dogs infected with coronavirus following “close exposure” to owners with Covid-19.

Neither dog displayed any symptoms.


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