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Caring for your pets during COVID-19

20th March 2020

The ISPCA would like to reassure pet owners that there is no evidence that pets such as dogs or cats can catch or spread the coronavirus. This is also the position of the HSE, OIE and WSAVA.

According to experts, COVID-19 cannot be transmitted from human to animal or vice versa. If your pet is touched by someone with the coronavirus then there is the potential that it can be spread, should someone else come into contact with your pet but the risk of this is extremely low, as transmission needs prolonged contact or exposure, a fleeting contact such as someone patting your dog will not pose a risk .  This is the same way as touching any infected person or surface so please take precautions with good hygiene practices.

ISPCA Public Relations Manager, Carmel Murray said:  "We are asking pet owners to follow practical advice and not to over worry about their pets.  It is important to interact with your pets as normal and to wash your hands regularly after contact with any animal.   It is also practical to make plans just in case you are ill, so that if needed, there is someone such as a family member or a friend who can help care for your pets short or long term”.

ISPCA Tips and Advice

  • When out walking your dog, you should ensure they are kept on a short lead and keep dogs and under control at all times.
  • Restrict contact with other people and animals and adhere to personal distancing guidelines.
  • Continue to exercise and play with your pets to alleviate stress in the confines of your garden.
  • There is also plenty of ways to keep your pets entertained such as putting their favourite treats in a Kong pet toy or by using food puzzle toys or by play fetch or tug-of-war with their favourite toy.
  • This is a good time to teach your pets some new tricks. We would love to see your cute animal photos or videos.
  • Avoid sharing your food or being kissed or licked by your pet and always wash your hands.
  • It’s important to you have sufficient pet food, prescribed medication or other essentials such as cat litter during self-isolation. 
  • Plan ahead in the event you need help caring for your pets short or long term.

Carmel added:  “In these uncertain times, our work doesn’t stop. There are still hundreds of animals in our centres and we will continue to provide a high level of care level by our dedicated staff. Sadly, we expect to lose many of our vital donations which is a huge worry.  We are in this together and we’ll do everything we can to continue rescuing and caring for Ireland’s most cruelly treated animals.  As a charity we rely on the generosity of kind supporters to enable us to continue our vital work and we do need your continued support more than ever”.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, ISPCA centres are temporarily closed to the public as a precautionary measure. 

It is important we all continue with good hygiene measures and follow advice. Stay safe and stay home.

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