WATCH — Can pets get the coronavirus?

Published 2020-04-15 15:30
UPDATE: On Oct. 23, 2020, a dog in Ontario was the first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in Canada.

The short answer is maybe

Earlier this month, we learned that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York tested positive for COVID-19.

It got the disease from an infected zookeeper.

Since many of us are physically distancing along with our pets, kids are asking if they should be concerned.

Although the tiger got sick, we don’t know if all animals can get COVID-19.

We also don’t know if they can transmit the virus to humans.

Nadia, a female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. (Wildlife Conservation Society/Reuters)

But we do know that we should be careful around our pets the same way we are around other people right now.

That’s because people who have the virus can transmit germs to others through their pets’ fur, said Cathy Egan, a professor of Environmental Public Health at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ont.

Watch this video to learn more:

Also, if you have a pet, it should be physical distancing just like you are, to protect them from a potential infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That means not letting your pets interact with other animals, keeping your dogs on a leash and keeping your cat indoors when possible.

If you’re out walking your dog, keep it two metres away from other animals.

A woman walks a dog on a leash

Dogs should follow the same rules of physical distancing as humans. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Always remember to wash your hands frequently, and check out these videos for more information about the coronavirus:

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