Covid-19 and Pets

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In these trying times it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. Myths are springing up all over the place as people try to find answers on how to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Concerned pet owners trying to stay safe

There are some reports that concerned owners are making the incredibly difficult decision to give up their pets and are leaving them at shelters. Currently there is no evidence of the virus being spread from pets to people. The last thing that we want is to make matters worse by spreading incorrect information about Covid-19. All of the following information has been sourced from organisations that we trust.

The following information has been published by the PDSA. It is worth reading all of their advice.

Can pets catch Covid-19?

There are a few exceptionally rare cases from across the world where an animal has been in close proximity to a person with Covid-19. However, there is no evidence that pets can transmit the Covid-19 virus to people.

Can the Covid-19 virus live on fur?

Although it’s not been proven, it may be possible for the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) to be carried on pet fur. For this reason, it’s important to wash your hands thoroughly after touching, feeding or cleaning up after you pet. It’s also important to ensure your pets are kept separate from other people, pets and households.

Can I vaccinate my pet against Covid-19?

No, there is no vaccine available for Covid-19. There is a vaccine that is occasionally used to protect puppies from the coronaviruses that cause diarrhoea, but this vaccine doesn’t provide any protection against other strains of coronavirus.

UK Government guidelines for pet owners.

The UK Government has also published guidelines for pet owners.

Advice for dogs owners

Advice if you have symptoms of coronavirus
If you have symptoms of coronavirus and must remain at home for 7 days, or 14 days as a household
If your dog cannot exercise at home, you should ask someone outside of your household to walk your dog for you.
All non-essential trips to vets should be avoided. If your pet needs urgent treatment, you must phone the vet to arrange the best approach to meet your pets’ needs.

Advice if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus
You may leave your house to exercise once a day and you should combine this with walking your dog. In doing so, it is important that you minimise the time spent outside of the home and remain 2 metres away from anyone outside of your household.

All non-essential trips to vets should be avoided. If your pet needs urgent treatment, you may take them, but must remember to wash your hands and remain 2 metres away from anyone outside your household. You must call the vet before going to see them.

Advice for those walking dogs on behalf of someone not able to
You may also leave your house to provide care or help a vulnerable person. This includes walking a dog for someone who is unable to leave their house because they are self isolating or being shielded. You should remember to wash your hands before and after handling the dog and keep 2 metres away from other people and animals, including when handing over the dog to the owner.

General advice for all cat owners

You should wash your hands before and after any contact with your cat.

Horses, livestock and other animals

Advice if you have symptoms of coronavirus and must remain at home for 7 days, or 14 as a household
If you have a horse in livery, you must not visit them whilst you are self-isolating. You should contact your yard manager or vet to make suitable welfare arrangements.

If you have livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, or any other types of livestock you should arrange for someone else who is not self-isolating to care for your animals.
Where this is not possible you should ensure the basic needs of your animals are met. You must make sure you wash your hands before and after handling your animals and ensure you remain 2 metres away from other people.

If you are too unwell to care for your animals and there is no one to help. You should call your local authority.

Advice if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus
You may leave your house to exercise once a day. You should combine this with leaving your house to provide care for your horse or livestock.
It is essential that you minimise the time spent outside of the home and remain 2 metres away from others. You should remember to wash your hands before and after contact with any animals.

If your horse needs urgent attention from a farrier
If your horse requires urgent attention from a farrier, you should phone the farrier to arrange the best approach to meet your horses’ needs. You and the farrier must ensure that you keep 2 metres apart. It’s importatnt to wash your hands before and after contact with the horse.

2 responses to “Covid-19 and Pets”

  1. STEPHANIE ROBERTA GOULD says:

    Thank you. i have being doing this. I have more concern about the vet not being able to visit my cat in the crisis due to renal failure.
    When time, I am praying he will go peacefully.
    Would you please kindly confirm your opening times and procedures for those who may need your service in the crisis.
    I am wondering how does one bear unbearable loss whether a pet or person. Kind regards and well wishes,

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