Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people with animals

We all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

The following advice provides further detail for pet owners and livestock keepers on maintaining the welfare of their animals during the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

 

Dogs

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 if you have symptoms of coronavirus and must remain at home for 7 days, or 14 days as a household

Restrict contact with dogs as a precautionary animal health measure until more information is known about the virus. If your dog requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.

Try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practice good hygiene. This is to reduce the likelihood of your dog spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals play a role in the spread of the disease.

If your dog shows clinical signs, please do not take it to the vet but call the practice for advice. Please let them know you have Covid 19 or have symptoms.

If your dog requires emergency treatment, call the practice for further advice. Do not take your pet to the surgery unless the vet instructs you to. You may need to arrange for someone else to transport your pet for treatment. Please let them know you have Covid 19 or have symptoms.

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 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.

 

Cats

Advice if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus

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

Advice if you have symptoms of coronavirus and must remain at home for 7 days, or 14 days as a household

Restrict contact with cats as a precautionary animal health measure until more information is known about the virus.

If your cat requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.

Keep cats indoors if possible. This is to reduce the likelihood of your cat spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals play a role in the spread of the disease.

If your cat shows clinical signs, please do not take it to the vet but call the practice for advice. Please let them know you have Covid 19 or have symptoms.

If your cat requires emergency treatment, call the practice for further advice. Do not take your pet to the surgery unless the vet instructs you to. You may need to arrange for someone else to transport your pet for treatment. Please let them know you have Covid 19 or have symptoms.

 

Horses, livestock and other animals

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 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.

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.

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 and wash your hands before and after contact with the horse.

 

 

For the latest information please visit:

Government Website

BVA

RCVS Website