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Ontario dog first to test positive for COVID-19 in Canada

Last Updated Oct 26, 2020 at 4:55 pm EST

Valentina Bacchin, wearing a sanitary mask to protect against COVID-19 looks at Wilfy, a young westie dog needing a haircut, in the Bottega di Zula pet grooming shop in Rome, Wednesday, May 6, 2020. Bacchin reopened her shop on Monday when Italy began stirring again after a two-month coronavirus shutdown, with 4.4 million Italians able to return to work and restrictions on movement eased in the first European country to lock down in a bid to stem COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

A Niagara-area dog has been identified as the first in Canada to test positive for COVID-19.

But experts say this doesn’t mean pet owners should panic.

A veterinary internal medicine specialist with the University of Guelph told the Toronto Star, the dog belongs to a household where four out of six members tested positive for the coronavirus.

RELATED: Canadians urged to include pets in their COVID-19 emergency plans

Scott Weese adds the dog had no symptoms and had a low viral load, suggesting dogs remain at a relatively low risk of becoming ill or passing the virus onto others.

Weese has tested 45 dogs since the start of the pandemic.

Last week, the province’s office of the Chief Veterinarian said people with COVID-19 symptoms should try to ‘exercise the same infection control precautions’ with their pets as they would people.

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