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My Pet World: No evidence that pets can transmit coronavirus to owners

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

As the world responds to the spread of novel coronavirus, I want to address some general animal-related questions people have had on the topic.

Can my pet get or spread coronavirus?

The answer is no. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have said there is no evidence that companion animals can get or spread the virus. They advise you, though, to wash your hands after petting your pets; a good habit we all need to develop for the safety and well-being of those around us.

Didn't a dog text positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong?

A dog in Hong Kong tested "weakly positive" for the virus (using canine nasal and oral cavity samples). This is not the same thing as getting the virus. The Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department also concluded that dogs and cats cannot pass the virus to humans, but they can test positive for low levels of the pathogen if there are exposed to it.

Are veterinary clinics still open?


In most cases, yes. Pets still get sick or injured, still need medications and still need their vaccinations. Veterinary clinics will likely remain open to address the health needs of pets. Many are enhancing their cleaning procedures, and some are having owners drop off their dogs or cats at the door and then return later to collect them.

Does my pet still need its vaccinations?

Yes, it's important to start or maintain vaccinations, especially for puppies and kittens, who are extremely susceptible to parvovirus and distemper. Call your veterinary clinic for more information.

What about resources for low-income pet owners?


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