Today, one of the largest UK pet charities is hoping to dispel some misconceptions surrounding the coronavirus and pet care. Whether there will be a spike in pet abandonment is uncertain, but Blue Cross still hope to cast out any misapprehensions that pets can pass the coronavirus on to their owners.

As misinformation does the rounds, perplexing pet owners, who are struggling to separate truth from what they read online. Reports from Italy, where the number of coronavirus cases is highest, suggest animals have been ditched over fears they can catch and pass on the deadly disease.

As the number of cases in the UK rises, and remote working becomes the norm, some of the most common questions being asked are:

·       Do pets carry COVID-19 on their fur or paws?

·       Is it safe to stroke them after we have handled bleach or hand sanitiser?

·       Can we still take our dogs out for walks?

·       Should we let other people stroke our pets?

As more of us start to practice social distancing and spending time in self-isolation, Blue Cross believe it could be an advantageous time for our furry friends. Not only are they offering advice on keeping our pets safe, but also keeping them stimulated; encouraging us to spend more time bonding with our pet, interacting, engaging with games and getting creative in how to provide exercise if access to the outdoors is restricted. In the long term, this will help contribute to both an enhanced physical and mental wellbeing, for the both of us. 

There is no need to be panicked or alarmed but instead important to remember some simple things which can ensure our pets are happy and healthy.

  1. If you are showing signs of symptoms or feeling unwell then restrict your contact with pets until more information is known about the virus
  2. If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible
  3. Hand sanitiser should be treated like any other product and not be transferred on to a pet’s fur. When pets wash any kind of toxic substance they ingest this and can potentially burn their mouth, tongue or throat

4.       If you are well there’s no need for concern over walking your dog