Dog

Coronavirus in pets – what are the risks?

Claire Dunling

Can the virus affect pets/animals?

Currently, there’s very little evidence that pets can catch the disease, or that they can transmit COVID-19 between humans.

Will this always be the case?

At this moment in time, it’s difficult to be sure. The coronavirus outbreak has sent the UK and the rest of the world into uncharted territory and it’s unclear what the next steps will be.

It’s important to be on the lookout and to contact a medical professional if you feel unwell. Likewise, get in touch with your vet if your pet seems unwell.

If I’m poorly, should I worry about spreading illness to my pet?

COVID-19 is not yet known to cause symptoms in pets, but similar viruses can be transmitted from humans to pets and vice versa.

To be on the safe side, stay as hygienic as possible. Wash your dog’s paws thoroughly after a walk and wash your hands regularly. At home, clean your pet’s sleeping/living area regularly and if you’re ill, keep physical contact to a minimum… and avoid letting your pet lick your face altogether.

Concerns about exposure to the virus…

If your pet is ill and you think exposure to coronavirus has caused their symptoms, contact your vets before your visit. It’s important to make your veterinary team aware.

Symptoms of illness may include:

Keep up with the news…

The COVID-19 virus has caused a great deal of unrest and uncertainty but try your best not to panic. Keep an eye on the news, both for trusted advice and for what’s happening in your area.

Meanwhile, stay as hygienic as possible and be sure to give your doctor a call if you’re feeling at risk. As ever, if you’re worried about your pet, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your vet.

This article is for guidance only and if you have any concerns about your pet you should always seek the advice of a qualified vet.

If in doubt contact your veterinary practice

And always keep your vet's phone number handy - just in case!