Dog 2 German Shepherd – Hong Kong

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Dog 2 German Shepherd – Hong Kong

Published 20 April 2020 | Updated 15 May 2020

In Hong Kong, where pets belonging to owners diagnosed with COVID-19 have been quarantined as a precaution, information has been released on a small number of pets that have tested positive after contact with an infected human owner. As of 25th March, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) had conducted tests on 17 dogs and eight cats from households with confirmed COVID-19 cases or persons in close contact with confirmed patients, and only two dogs had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

A second dog, this time a German Shepherd, was reported1 to have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by the AFCD on March 19th. The dog, along with another mixed breed dog from the same household, was taken into quarantine on 18th March when the owner was hospitalised with COVID-19. Both dogs were tested by the Hong Kong Authorities, with the German Shepherd testing positive for virus on 18th, 19th and 20th March. It also later developed antibodies to the virus. The other dog tested negative throughout and both dogs remained healthy and showed no clinical signs of disease.


Further details about the first two dogs to test positive to SARS-CoV-2 in Hong Kong have been published in Nature 2.

The paper confirms that the genetic sequences of the virus isolated from the two dogs were identical to those from their respective owners (although the sequences from the two households were different). This evidence supports the assumption that the dogs were infected by their owners.

The paper also provides a useful timeline detailing when tests were carried out.


  1. OIE (2020) COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2) Information received on 21/03/2020 from Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 April 2020]
  2. Sit, T.H.C. et al. (2020) Infection of dogs with SARS-CoV-2. Nature [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 May 2020]
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