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Covid-19 or Coronavirus and your pets

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With the recent Coronavirus outbreak, Pet Protect wanted to take the time to provide advice for pet owners on how to look after and keep your cat or dog safe during this time.

What can you do if you are self-isolating and your pet is with you?

While self-isolation is important for you, it can be difficult to provide your cat or dog the same level of attention they would normally receive if you were out and about. We have created a few ideas of how you can still keep them healthy and happy inside.

  • Hide their favourite toys or treats around your home. Placing toys and treats in different locations makes your dog search for their reward rather than just giving it to them and providing them with a higher level of mental stimulation
  • Place food in toys to make dinner time more interesting. By adding food to toys this will again make your cat or dog work harder for their treats and keep their brains a bit more active
  • Introduce new toys. You can make play time with your pets more fun by adding a new toy to their collection
  • Make an assault course in your home. We understand this can be tricky if you do not have enough space in your home. However, even in the smallest of places you could teach your dog to run around or jump over a few objects
  • Show them affection and give them more attention than normal. Letting your pet know you love them is a given and providing them with added daily care can help pass the time for both you and your pet
  • Teach them new tricks. There are lots of videos on YouTube and Instagram where you can find interesting and new tricks to teach your pet. This will not only keep your pet entertained but you as well.

You can find further details around self-isolation and what this means for us here

How to keep you and your pet safe?

There are a few things that you can do to keep both you and your pet safe when at home.

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and follow the hand washing guidelines after touching or playing with your pet. You may also want to wash their toys and bedding more regularly than normal
  • Reduce contact with pets by not letting them lick your face to reduce the spread of germs. If they do, wash your hands and face with soap and water straight away
  • Regularly cleaning your home and surfaces with disinfectant or hot soap and water can reduce and limit the spread of germs

Can I catch Coronavirus from my pet?

The World Health Organization states the following on their website: “There has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.”

The WHO continues to monitor the latest research and topics and will provide updates as and when necessary. You can read more information about the above by visiting the WHO website

What if my pet needs to see a vet?

If you do have any concerns about your cat or dog, you should try and call your vet first to seek their advice. Please do not leave the house to speak to your vet if you are self-isolating. Alternatively, you can use a video call service to get help or advice if you cannot get in contact with your vet directly.

By Melissa Pickburn

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