What you need to know about pets and COVID-19

Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 9:35 PM PDT
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Although there has been a report of a dog in Hong Kong, China testing positive for COVID-19, experts say there is no evidence that dogs or cats can be infected.

"In that case, it was kind of in the hot zone and its owner did test positive and they got what's called a very weak positive so that dog did not have any clinical signs or any symptoms they just tested that he was exposed to that virus," Jamie Sherman, a veterinarian at


Sherman said that the Hong Kong dog had been exposed to the disease but was not carrying it. She said it's important for everyone to know that COVID-19 is not the same coronavirus that dogs and cats can get.

"There is a very low risk of our dogs and cats getting Covid-19," she said.

Erin Rasmusson is a veterinarian at

and explained that there are types of coronaviruses that are specific to both dogs and cats.

"The most common causes vomiting and diarrhea, GI signs and there is a respiratory version of corona virus in dogs but it's not COVID 19 and it's very rare," Rasmusson said.

She also said that a pet could harbor the disease just like a door handle would. If you need to self quarantine she said to limit contact with your pets or have someone else look after them.

"Like on their fur if you cough on them and then another person then petted the dog and then maybe touched their face could maybe transmit the disease not because the dog had it but because the dog had it on the outside of their body," she said.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020