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CAN PETS CATCH CORONAVIRUS?

Keeping our pets safe is a year-round job, with an emphasis now more than ever!
Thankfully though, with current advice from the World Health Organisation and British Veterinary Association is that there’s no evidence that pets can be a source of infection or that they can become sick from COVID-19.

 I am self-isolating, can my pet stay with me?

Yes, in most cases your pet can stay with you, however, it’s advised to avoid close contact, such as sharing a bed. Wash your hands after touching and feeding your pet, and it’s always a good idea to avoid letting them lick your face or share your food.

There is no need for your pet to stay somewhere else during this time. However, when self-isolating on medical advice, you will need to make sure your pets continue to be properly looked after. If this will be challenging then you could consider asking someone else to look after your pet during this time, but it’s not a requirement.

If your pet is staying with you, try to minimize contact as much as possible. Yes, this means avoiding snuggling or cuddling as much as possible until you are better! We know this is difficult, so it may help to have another person in your household take on the day-to-day care of your pet while you are ill.

 

Can I still take my dog out for a walk?

Yes, latest Government guidance allows for one walk per day for each person, as long as social distance is maintained between people and dogs. If two adults live in the same home, then they could each walk the dog separately, ensuring the dog gets two walks a day. You must practice social distancing though, and keep at least two metres away from other people. Keep your dog on a lead around others and in public places and thoroughly wash your hands before leaving, and as soon as you get home again.

Dogs can be let out in the garden, or taken out to the toilet as needed. If you don’t have a private garden, just make sure these trips are as quick as possible and ensure you maintain your social distance.

 

Does my pet need to wear a mask?

No, putting a mask on your pet isn’t something that is recommend.
Wearing a face mask could be distressing for pets and may affect their ability to breathe normally, particularly in flat-faced breeds.
To help stop the virus spreading, make sure you wash your hands with warm water and soap (especially before and after handling your pet and their food).

 

Can pets spread COVID-19?

The virus is most commonly passed from person to person through coughing and sneezing. There is evidence that the virus can live on surfaces for some time, depending on the type of material, temperature and other factors. This could include your pet’s fur, so if you are showing any symptoms it’s important to minimize contact with your pet as much as possible.

You should also maintain good hygiene practices, such as regularly washing your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water, especially after handling or feeding your pet. It’s always sensible to avoid letting your pet lick your face.

There is no need to give up or quarantine pets and we would urge owners not to panic. Pets can be a great source of comfort, and a daily dog walk (following the guidelines above) will be a good thing for everyone’s physical and mental health.

 

As a pet owner, what can I do to help prevent the spread of the virus?

Please follow the latest Government advice and stay at home, and dog owners should follow our walking advice above.

Following good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands frequently, especially before and after leaving the house for essentials, and handling or feeding pets, also helps to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.


What if I can’t leave the house but my pet needs veterinary care or a prescription?

It’s best to give your vet a call to discuss your situation and see how they may be able to help. Do be aware that many vet practices may have additional procedures in place, and may need to prioritise emergencies in the current situation. The veterinary profession is doing everything possible to ensure essential and emergency services can be maintained during this difficult time, within Government guidance.