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COVID-19 and what it means for our pets

14th April 2020

Many pet owners continue to be worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their pets.  The ISPCA is continuing to monitor news from the experts and would like to reassure pet owners that there is no evidence that pets can contract COVID-19 or transmit the virus to humans. We are continuing to monitor the latest updates from the WHO, HSE and VCI.

ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly said:  “We are urging people to enjoy the companionship we share with our pets during this difficult time. It is important that pet owners continue to maintain good hygiene practices and always wash their hands after interacting with their pets. If you or someone in your household does become sick with COVID-19, avoid being kissed, licked or also sharing your food with your pet.  If pet owners do become infected, it is advisable to have another member of the household care for your pets.  As a precautionary measure, keep your pets indoors if possible for 14 days and continue to maintain good hygiene practices.  If you are concerned, please phone your vet”.

The ISPCA  strongly advise that when exercising your dog, you practice personal distancing by keeping at least two metres apart from people and also other animals. You should keep your dog on a lead when around other people or dogs. It’s a good time to make use of your secure garden for lots of extra play and for toilet breaks. If your cat stays normally indoors, then they should be kept indoors. There is a very small risk of animals acting like any other object in the home but there is no evidence that the virus can been passed on to a person from an animal by any route but it’s good to be extra cautious.

Andrew added: It is important to follow the HSE guidelines keeping personal distance of at least two metres from people and other animals, wash your hands regularly and only go out for essential reasons during lockdown.  Also keep your pet in a routine as much as possible so it will be easier for them to adjust when you go back to normal working.

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