With stepped-up government measures in place and Coronavirus information changing daily, it’s no surprise pet owners are worried about their pets.
Firstly, it’s important not to panic. To date, there is no evidence confirming pets are a source of infection or can become sick from COVID-19 themselves.
That said, animal welfare charities have been issuing advice on how to care for and interact with pets during this uncertain time.
A general piece of advice everyone should follow is to adopt good hygiene practices i.e. thoroughly washing hands with soap and water before and after touching them, their toys, food and bedding. Also, you should avoid pet kisses and licks, and sharing food with them.
Read this RSPCA article on what to do about pet care if you’re asked to self-isolate, or if you/someone in your household gets sick. It covers things like “Can I still walk my dog?” and “Can I stroke other people’s pets?”.
Vets around the country are working hard to balance public safety and animal welfare at this difficult time, and are following the most up-to-date advice and guidelines from the government and BVA (British Veterinary Association).
The current guidelines state that vets can remain open for urgent and emergency pet care only, and routine healthcare should be postponed. If you’re not sure what is classed as urgent, emergency or routine, take a look at our blog post: What is classed as essential pet care during the Coronavirus crisis?
What about puppies?
When it comes to collecting new puppies during the Coronavirus lockdown, this would not be classed as essential travel and would therefore not be permitted within the government guidelines. Talk to your breeder about getting ‘pup-dates’ via video call so you can keep informed about their progress, and enquire whether the breeder is permitted to deliver puppies to expectant families under the government’s lastest dog breeder / small business guidelines amidst the COVID-19 situation.
For more information on the above and advice on how to socialise young puppies that are already at home if they can’t go outside, read this article from the Kennel Club.
More useful links:
We’ll be adding more advice for pet owners over the coming days and weeks, you can get all of our COVID-19 advice and support information in one place – our blog
Got a dog? Jump to our article – Five tips for keeping your dog entertained whilst staying at home