SURREY (NEWS 1130) – As Canada’s first case of COVID-19 among dogs is reported in Ontario, a Surrey-based vet is providing some advice to pet owners who may have concerns.
Dr. Sajjid Ijaz with Lifetime Veterinary Clinic says research on COVID-19 in pets is still evolving, but at this point, there’s little evidence to suggest dogs can transmit the virus to humans.
He notes many owners have flagged their COVID-19 concerns with him and his staff over the past few months.
“Obviously, at this point because we do not have any data to give any concrete answers to them, so, we have just been telling them to be careful about going out of their own bubble, as far as their own personal self, as well as the pets themselves. So what we’ve been telling them is to try and limit the pet access to dog parks and all that stuff, and be careful about it,” he explains.
Ontario dog tests positive for COVID-19
A dog in Ontario’s Niagara area has been identified as the first canine to test positive for COVID-19 in Canada. Experts have said this isn’t cause for panic.
The dog apparently belongs to a household where four people tested positive for COVID-19.
Experts told the Toronto Star the dog “had no symptoms and a low viral load, suggesting that dogs remain at relatively low risk of becoming gravely ill or passing on COVID to others.”
Ijaz says while they’re not pushing that message too hard, he and his staff want pet owners to continue to be smart.
Pets and your social bubble
Because of the uncertainty around how the coronavirus is transmitted among pets, Ijaz says it’s wise to apply the same advice to pets when it comes to humans and their social bubbles.
“So, yes, I’ve been telling my clients to limit access, not just totally isolate them, but just to be smart about it,” he explains.
Ijaz understands that pets are often a big part of any family, which is why he believes it’s best to be safe rather than sorry.
“As much as we can limit the bubble, that will help,” he says, adding your social bubble shouldn’t exclude these animals.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, there’s been no report of pets spreading COVID-19 to people. There have been reports of possible transmission from mink at a farm in the Netherlands to humans, however, the federal government says this is still being studied.
-With files from 680 NEWS