Coronavirus – advice for people with dogs and cats


The following advice provides further detail for pet owners and livestock keepers on maintaining the welfare of their animals during the coronavirus pandemic.  The UK government website in April 2020 gives advice on coronavirus and dogs and cats and animals.  The initial statement for dogs and cats is as follows:

“There is no evidence of coronavirus circulating in pets or other animals in the UK and there is nothing to suggest animals may transmit the disease to humans. In line with the general advice on fighting coronavirus, you should wash your hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.”

Regarding dogs the advice has been given based on the advice of social distancing and keeping your dog fit and healthy.  The advice states if you have symptoms of coronavirus and must remain at home for 7 days, or 14 days as a household. If this is the case and 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.

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 is the same for vet trips and it has been emphasised that in line with the general advice on fighting coronavirus, you should wash your hands before and after any contact with your cat.

This advice may change and we will keep our sites as up to date as possible.  If you would like to learn more about pet first aid we have a range of pet first aid courses from standard, advanced and professional levels and dog and cat care video online courses. For more information visit our pet first aid website at propetfirstaid.co.uk.

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