Read the following article by CTV News regarding the first dog infected with COVID-19

KITCHENER -- Maci, a three-year-old dog living in the Niagara Region, is the first canine in Canada to test positive for COVID-19.

Researchers at the University of Guelph confirmed the case on Monday.

"We just call her Princess Maci, because she really thinks the world revolves around her," her owner, Tanja Loeb, said.

Scott Weese, a professor at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College, discovered the case while running a 40-dog study trying to determine how often COVID-19 transmits from owners to their pets.

Weese said around 20 dogs have tested positive for the disease in the United States.

"One of the reasons we're looking at animals is because we want to keep this a human virus," Weese said. "If it's a human virus, it's easier to control because we just pay attention to one species. If it can spread to pets or livestock or wildlife, then that brings in a whole new side effect."

Loeb owns two dogs -- Maci and Theo. Maci tested positive for COVID-19 and Theo was considered a "borderline positive."

"We were in bed with flu-like symptoms and so they were in bed with us and a couple times I wondered like are they just being quiet and calm because maybe they’re not feeling well or are they being empathetic towards us?" Loeb said.

Weese drove out to Niagara to test Loeb's dogs. Maci had the virus in her intestinal tract.

"With dogs we just go on the outside of the nose, we go in a bit and then we get a swab from their throat and we get it from their bum," Weese explained.

"I think it's not easy to get the subjects to catch, you have to get them while the families are ill," Loeb said. "The dogs only have the virus for a short period of time."

Weese said he's tested about 40 dogs so far. He's faced some travel limits, since they are going into people's homes after they've tested positive for the disease.

Weese and his team wear full personal protective equipment when performing tests to keep themselves and the pets' owners safe.

He said his initial research showed humans can spread the virus to dogs, but dogs can't spread it to others.

"They probably can't transmit it," he said. "They're what we call a dead-end host, where the virus goes into them and then it just disappears. But, we need a little more information to be confident in that."

Weese added that other dogs may have had the disease in Canada, but Maci was the first confirmed case. He added they likely won't show symptoms.

"From a dog health standpoint, we're not too concerned at this point," he said.

Loeb said she's proud that her dog can help combat a global health crisis.

"It was just about knowing that it's possible that they do have the active virus and feeling good about Maci being not just a dog, but maybe having a little legacy too," she said.

Weese said any households that have contracted the disease should also quarantine their pets as a precaution.

Store news

Blog posts

View all
Your Pet Bird And Egg Laying

Your Pet Bird And Egg Laying

Bird CareLisa Koenig
Whether they have a mate or not, many female pet birds may decide to lay eggs. While it is more common in the spring and summer, it can happen any time of year. Here you will find some tips on how you can both discourage and eliminate unwanted egg laying.
Is My Bird Sick? - The ABCs of Illness Detection By Kaytee

Is My Bird Sick? - The ABCs of Illness Detection By Kaytee

Bird CareExotic Wings
Birds must be observed very carefully every day for subtle signs of illness. If several symptoms are present at the same time, contact your avian veterinarian immediately. Any stress can weaken a bird’s immune system, but because they disguise signs of sickness, you must know what to look for so you can catch problems early.
Which Bar Spacing Is Right For My Bird?

Which Bar Spacing Is Right For My Bird?

Bird CareNicholas Zwarych

Knowing what size of bar spacing is the right fit for your bird can be a challenge! Correct bar spacing is important because inadequate bar spacing can cause to potential injury of your bird or lead to an escaped bird.  That's why we have created the following chart to help guide you on your journey of purchasing a new bird cage.