Vets remind owners there is no evidence that pets can contract coronavirus

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SAN DIEGO — Veterinarians around town say they’ve been getting some concerned calls from pet owners wondering if their dogs can get the coronavirus.

“That’s the question I would like to know the answer to,” said a resident named Brendan who had taken his dog for a walk in Ocean Beach Monday night.

Kasey, another parkgoer and her friend Taylor admit they’re concerned about their dogs’ safety as well.

“They definitely came out with that first article — that first dog to get coronavirus — and I was like oh no, my dog is going to get it now,” Casey said.

She’s referring to a report that The World Health Organization revealed last week, confirming that a dog in China tested positive for the coronavirus.

“There’s one person who definitely tested positive, and their pet also tested a weak positive on the same test but the pet has no clinical signs at all,” said Steve Weinrauch, chief veterinarian officer for Trupanion, a vet insurer to thousands of vets in North America. He says they’re connected to more than 25,000 hospitals, monitoring data of animals that get brought in. He says so far, no irregularities have popped up.

“There’s no reason to think anything other than the CDC said is correct and that is there is no evidence to suggest dogs can contract or spread the COVID-19,” Weinrauch said.

So while dogs can test positive for coronavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they were infected.

Weinrauch said that hasn’t stopped some concerned pet owners from reaching out. Some have even pointed out that their dogs had recently been vaccinated for coronavirus. However, he said there’s many type of coronaviruses and currently, no vaccines are offered for dogs for COVID-19.

“That coronavirus has nothing to do with the current situation,” Weinracuh said. “It wouldn’t be protective, wouldn’t be one that you want to go out and get it would be useless in this situation.”

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