COVID-19: Pet Owners’ Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions

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Can your pet be a carrier for COVID 19  

Yes, it’s possible for your pet to be a carrier of COVID-19. This could happen if an infected person has the virus and was to sneeze or otherwise contaminate their pet then another person could touch the pet and get the virus. The good news? Veterinarians believe this risk to below as the virus lasts longer on hard surfaces rather than soft surfaces. As recommended please always practice high hygiene standards when interacting with your pet.

If I’m self-isolating, can I have my pet stay with me?

Yes, your pet can stay with you. Having said this, we suggest that you avoid close contact with your pet and avoid letting them lick your face or sharing your food with them. This also means no cuddling with your pet :(. If this is a concern for you, where possible enlist the help of a family member with the day to daycare of your pet.

If I’m self-isolating, can I walk my dog?

No, when you self-isolate you cannot leave your house. If you have your own yard then you can use that for your dog to go to the toilet and to play with your dog. It is really important for your dog to be exercised. If possible ask a friend or family member to take your dog out for you. Please be aware that you will need to inform anybody that is collecting your dog that you are self-isolating and that they will not be able to come into your house and will need to use their own lead and also maintain a 2-meter distance from you at all times. If you’re outside of your quarantine restrictions, here’s a guide for walking your dog during COVID-19.

What if I can’t leave the house and my pet needs to go to the vet?

It is recommended that you call your vet for advice and if needed arrange for somebody else to take your pet to the vet and stay contactable over the phone. In some instances, vets are able to do a phone consultation or a facetime consultation.

Is it true that hand sanitisers are poisonous to dogs?

No, as long as the hand sanitiser only contains ethanol ( alcohol)and not ethylene glycol, however, it can be harmful if a whole bottle is ingested. It evaporates quickly and is not harmful in small quantities, once again please practice safe measures and don’t leave bottles around where pets can get access to them.

Why is it so important not to overfeed your pet while in self-isolation?

During this stressful uncertain time, it is becoming easier than ever to eat more than usual, including overfeeding pets who are alongside you. Recent studies showed that nearly 60% of cats and dogs are considered overweight which unfortunately can lead to major health problems. Weight problems can affect your pet’s quality of life and shorten their lifespan. Overfeeding your pet can also create a financial burden and extra stress caused by more vet visits.

Should I develop a contingency plan for my pet in case I contract COVID-19?

Yes, you should have a plan especially if you live alone. Identify somebody that can take care of your pet in the event that you no longer can. Inform the person of any special care or treatment that your pet requires. Ensure you have adequate medication and information for dosage and administration for your pet if required. Develop a schedule for your pet as like humans pets like routine, for example, what time are mealtimes, playtimes and outdoor activities. Ensure the carer can stick to the schedule or a similar one to reduce stress for the pet.