Niagara-area dog tests positive for COVID-19 but most pets are still safe


A dog in Ontario’s Niagara Region has tested positive for COVID-19, although researchers say most pet owners shouldn’t be worried.

Positive tests for novel coronavirus in dogs are rare because they are typically asymptomatic and they get over the ailment relatively quickly.

Scott Weese, the chief of infection control at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, is part of the study that found the positive case in the Niagara area.

He says that of approximately 40 pets tested only the dog has tested positive.

A cat in the study had some lingering antibodies from COVID-19, suggesting it had once been sick.

Weese notes that other animals, like non-human primates and minks are much more susceptible to the virus.


  1. Dogs are usually not susceptible to coronavirus.

    Cats, and a number of different feline species — cheetahs, leopards, tigers and lions — are all susceptible to the

    Ferrets and mink are also susceptible to the coronavirus, but not dogs, bears, pigs, chickens and ducks.

    A single different amino acid in the protein that comprises a receptor to coronavirus, contributes to the susceptibility. That single change is what confers resistance for dogs, but not cats.

    A tiger at a zoo in New York City tested positive for the coronavirus. The tiger got sick from COVID-19.

    Domestic cats do not show any symptoms but can carry the coronavirus, which is found in respiratory droplets.

    Cats can carry coronavirus, but it’s not yet clear how big a factor cats play in spreading COVID-19 to humans.

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