Covid 19 / Coronavirus
As we write this, 21 March 2020, we are in unprecedented times. There are so many unknowns, so many variables, so many things to be worried about. Covid-19 is a pandemic which carries a serious threat to life.
If you need help, whether for yourself or your pet, please ASK. We will do our utmost to help as many people and pets that we possibly can, for as long as we can. We are all in this together.
Hopefully, this post will help answer some of your pet concerns!
How do I protect my pet and myself from Covid-19?
Since your pet is at minimal risk of Covid-19 infection there are no specific steps needed to protect them from infection.
To protect yourself, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend the following steps:
Can dogs carry, transmit or become ill with Covid-19?
2 dogs from the same household in Hong Kong, have tested
positive to Covid-19. Neither dogs show any symptoms of the disease
and have been sent for quarantine.
World Health Organisation (WHO) have stated "there is no evidence that companion animals such as cats and dogs can spread the virus!"
Is there a Covid-19 vaccine for dogs and cats?
There is no vaccine for Covid-19 for people or animals at this time.
If I am diagnosed with Covid-19, how do I protect my pet?
Since your pet is at minimal risk of Covid-19 infection there are no specific steps needed to protect them from infection. However, pets can carry the virus on them, if they are in an environment with a large quantity of the virus and could serve to be a source of the virus for other people, including family members. Therefore, to protect other people and yourself, the WHO recommends that you restrict contact with pets if you are sick with Covid-19, just as you would restrict your contact with other people. Avoid snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.
If you must interact with your pet, wash your hands before and after, and wear a face mask.
Cats should be kept in.
What happens to my pet if I become ill?
Have an emergency care plan ready in advance - its very likely you will become ill, not if!
This could include:
Can I walk my dog during self-isolation?
If you are unsure if you should be self-isolating, please always follow local government advice.
You should not leave your house when self-isolating, not even to take your dog for a walk. However, it’s important that you ensure your dog continues to get a healthy level of exercise, such as by:
Can I walk my dog during social distancing?
Whether or not you can walk your dog during social distancing will depend on your local government’s advice and restrictions.
In the UK, you may continue to walk your dog but you should practice social distancing by leaving at least two metres between yourself and other people and avoid busy or crowded areas.
Tips for walking your dog during social distancing:
What if my pet needs to see the vet?
If your pet needs veterinary attention, for whatever reason, you should first call ahead to see if the surgery has placed any specific restrictions and follow their advice.
They may adopt a telephone or video service for non-urgent cases and will be able to advise you on their processes for vaccinations, worming and de-flea, repeat prescriptions and other welfare activities.
If you do need to visit the vet make sure to follow all their hygiene and safety processes including washing your hands, using hand sanitiser and maintaining social distancing as much as possible.
If you are in self-isolation and cannot leave the house, ensure you have someone you can call to take your pet.
What if I run out of pet food/bedding?
Try to make sure you have at least a week’s worth of supplies for your dog in the house. However, please be aware of the needs of other pet owners,
DO NOT STOCKPILE, especially if you have a means of transport. If you are unable to get hold of food, you can make your own tasty dog food at home for them using meat, veg and rice. There are plenty of great recipes online that you can follow. Or please contact business' such as ourselves who maybe able to obtain and deliver it to you.
Can other people pet my animals?
During this time, it’s best to avoid letting people outside of your home touch your pets. In theory, the body and coat can act like any other surface, meaning the virus can stick to it and be picked up by the next person to pet your dog.
As always, good hygiene practice like frequent hand washing and avoiding touching your face will help to minimise the risk.