Officials say pets cannot contract or transmit COVID-19

Peanut is one of the dogs that the non-profit pet store Shelter of Hope is actively working to re-home. December 28, 2019. Bobby Blokc / The Signal.
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At this time, there is no evidence to conclude that pets can either contract or transmit the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, to others, health officials reported Tuesday. 

After a pet reportedly tested as a “weak positive” for COVID-19 in Hong Kong, it began to generate concern for pet owners worldwide. 

“To date, there is no evidence of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 or of pets spreading it to people or other animals,” said a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Facebook post. 

Trupanion, a pet insurance company, is currently monitoring any information regarding veterinary visits and has not seen an unusual increase in visits that would indicate that pets are being affected by COVID-19, according to a Trupanion news release. 

“If we notice something that isn’t within the norm we will pass that information along to experts in public health and other partners in the pet health industry and work with them on analyzing the impact of the data,” Dr. Steve Weinrauch, chief veterinary officer at Trupanion, said in the release.

However, Public Health officials have provided pet owners with recommendations going forward. 

Pet owners should wash their hands after being around animals and if they are sick, they should wash their hands frequently and limit close contact with other people and pets, according to the Public Health post. 

Be sure to include pets in your family’s preparedness by having at least a two-week supply of pet food or medicine, keep your pet’s vaccination current and if your pet does appear to be sick, contact a veterinarian, the post added. 

“To reiterate, there is no evidence to suggest that dogs, or other pets, can contract or spread COVID-19,” said Weinrauch.

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