Advice for pet owners: coronavirus (COVID-19)

Published: 01 July 2020

Advice for pet owners: coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advice to pet owners on how to care for their pets during the period of COVID-19 control measures.

First published:
1 April 2020
Last updated:

General information on animals and COVID-19

There is no evidence of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) circulating in pets or other animals. There is nothing to suggest pets may transmit the disease to humans.

In line with the Public Health Wales general advice on COVID-19, you should wash your hands regularly and before and after you come into contact with animals or pets.

It is possible that the coat and face of pets could be contaminated with virus shed by people, for a short time, just as other surfaces can be.

The measures being taken to control COVID-19 are subject to change, possibly frequently, so do please keep yourself updated with the latest advice and instructions.

Advice on walking your dog

Walking your dog is considered to be a form of exercise that is permitted, notwithstanding the general restrictions on people’s movements that are in place. (Remember you should keep at least 2 metres apart from other people outside your household and we advise you to keep the dog on the lead for this reason).

Cats in households where people have Covid-19 or are self-isolating should be kept indoors, if possible. Otherwise cats can be managed as usual. Further advice is available from the British Veterinary Association.

Advice for pet owners who are in high risk groups or self-isolating

You must follow one or more of the following:

If your dog cannot exercise at home, you may be able to get someone to walk it for you.

Advice for those walking pets on behalf of someone not able to

If you are walking a pet on behalf of someone who is unable to, you should wash your hands before and after handling that pet. You should try to walk the pet on a lead at all times and avoid direct contact with other people and animals. You should safely hand over a pet at the front door or hallway and avoid contact with the pet’s owner.

If you are walking a pet from a household that is showing symptoms of the virus, you should make sure that the pet does not mix with animals from other households.

Keeping pets happy and healthy

Companion Animal Welfare Group Wales (CAWGW), supported by AWNW, has issued advice to Welsh pet owners:

This advice includes:

  • preventing separation anxiety
  • maintaining a healthy diet, and
  • providing a safe and comfortable home

Similar advice issued in England by the Canine and Feline Sector Group.

What to do if your pet is ill and needs veterinary attention

If your pet is injured, sick or needs to receive urgent treatment, phone the vet to arrange the best approach to meet your pet’s needs. Make specific arrangements before visiting any vet to minimise any risks of possible virus transmission.

Routine visits to vets should not be made at this time.