Can My Pet Get the Coronavirus?

Surprising photos out of Southeast Asia show dogs wearing breathing masks in an attempt to save them from the Coronavirus. Is that going a bit too far?

What are the chances of your dog or cat catching the Coronavirus, specifically COVID-19?

“From what we know right now, your dog is at much higher risk for more commonly known viruses and diseases such as rabies, parvo, distemper and upper respiratory infections,” said Charleston Animal Society Associate Director of Veterinary Care Dr. Cody Dressler. “We need to watch Coronavirus, but more importantly, stay on top of these more common diseases.”

That Hong Kong Dog

In late February, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that a dog in Hong Kong had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. They emphasized that it was a “weak positive,” meaning low levels of the virus were found.

Hong Kong scientists aren’t sure if the dog is actually infected or if it picked up the virus from a contaminated surface, according to WHO officials.

The dog belongs to a 60-year-old woman who developed symptoms on February 12th and later tested positive, according to the Wall Street Journal. Domestic animals in Hong Kong are now being quarantined, if their owners test positive for the Coronavirus.

COVID-19 appears to have transferred from a bat to a human, but WHO scientists say there is currently no evidence that suggests pets like dogs or cats can be infected with the coronavirus. But, these same scientists say the situation continues to evolve.