It can be one of the most simple interactions that can put a smile on anyone’s face. A happy dog wanders up to a human who just wants a single pat. What could possibly go wrong?

These days, it could get a lot more complicated.

It turns out that while dogs cannot contract the disease, they can pass coronavirus from one person to another via their coat.

Professor David Hayman, an ecology expert at Massey University in New Zealand said, “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.”

Prof Hayman recommends cats should not leave the house at all, given that owners will not know where they have been during these unsettling times.

However, veterinary experts have said this path of transmission is very low as animal coats have natural antibacterial properties that would restrict the ability for viruses like these to survive.

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