Coronavirus and your pets
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if you need help.
There does not seem to be any current concern that pets can spread Coronavirus
General consensus re coronavirus and pets is that there is no proof they can become infected with the virus and spread it in this way. The only thing to be aware of is they can act as fomites for infection, as any piece of clothing or object e.g. the virus could sit in their coat for a bit if they were exposed. So if there was any concern a dog had been around someone who had been exposed to coronavirus then best measure would be to full body bathe it, ideally in an antibacterial shampoo such as malaseb or very dilute hibiscrub.
Wearing gloves when handling any dogs is also a safe measure too.
The virus is most commonly passed from person to person through coughing and sneezing. There is some evidence that the virus can live on surfaces for some time, depending on the type of material, temperature and other factors. However, there’s currently no evidence that companion animals can spread Covid-19 to people.
It’s best to follow standard 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.
Based on the current status of the virus, there doesn’t appear to be a need to restrict travelling with pets or any affected domestic pets if you are not in a household where Covid-19 has been confirmed, but the situation could change.
Can I walk my dog if I’m self-isolating? Is it safe for someone else to walk my dog for me?
You shouldn’t leave your house while self-isolating, so this would include taking your dog for a walk. If you have a private garden then you can take your dog there to go the toilet and to play games. However, a daily walk is really important for dogs’ physical and mental health, so if possible ask a friend or family member to take your dog out for you. You could also book a professional dog walker, but let them know in advance that you are self-isolating. Keep the handover as brief as possible and make sure you both wash your hands before and after handling the dog. Maintain a minimum two metre distance at all times.
Is it safe to stroke other people’s pets? Can I still feed stray cats?
Although there is no evidence that pets can spread the disease, we’d advise taking sensible precautions until more is known. We’d suggest not interacting with pets owned by people who might themselves be self-isolating, just in case. If this is unavoidable, ensure you wash your hands after any contact.
PDSA web site: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/what-we-do/blog/vet-qa-can-pets-catch-coronavirus