Can your pets catch the Coronavirus?

At Vet’s Kitchen we understand how concerning the Coronavirus pandemic may be for pet owners.  As such we are committed to use the expertise in our in-house veterinary practice, Vet’s Klinic, to give you timely, clear advice at this difficult time.

Because our pets are a part of our family, as owners, we are obviously concerned about them too – can they catch or transmit the virus?  Should you walk your dog? What should I do to keep my pet healthy? The vets at Vet’s Klinic see hundreds of pets every day and keep up-to-date with the latest advice about keeping pets healthy and safe.  Over the coming weeks they would like to share the most up-to-date advice with you and try to answer commonly asked questions relating to pets and the Coronavirus.  It is important to note that little is known about Covid-19 and guidance and advice is changing all the time so to keep updated, sign up to the Vet’s Kitchen newsletter at the bottom of the page, or follow the Vet's Kitchen Facebook Page.

We caught-up with Adrian Caunter, Clinical Director at Vets Klinic Swindon to give us the latest Vet Know How facts and advice:

What do we know about COVID-19 at this point?

Firstly, it is important to point out that the Coronavirus in humans is a new virus and we are still very much in the learning phase. Coronavirus can affect our cats and dogs, but this is a different strain to the one affecting humans around the world. As far as we are currently aware, there is no risk of our pets contracting it from us, or from us contracting the disease from our pets.
From the information we have from WHO (the World Health Organisation) there was one case where the same strain of Coronavirus in humans was confirmed in a dog in Hong Kong. This was a “weak positive” and it is possible that this could have been from environmental contamination.

Can COVID-19 transmit between humans and animals?

As far as we are aware, transmission is from human to human only. It is important to point out that it is thought that the virus can stay in the environment anywhere from a few hours to days on surfaces, and potentially on our pets. If an infected person were to pet an animal, there is a chance that the virus may survive on that animal’s skin, like it can other surfaces.

What is the best advice to protect myself and my pet from COVID-19?

The most important message must be to wash our hands often and thoroughly, particularly when touching animals. We can catch other things from our pets, like worms and other bacteria so it is good practice to wash hands before and after touching our animals. There is obviously a chance that the above information could change, and, in that event, we will update you all as soon as we can but for now there is no need to panic. 

If you are currently in self-isolation and worried about running out of pet food, shop our range of cat and dog food for direct delivery to your door.


Adrian Caunter - BSc BVSc PgC SAS MRC

Adrian qualified with distinction from Bristol University in 2006 and also has a degree in veterinary pathology. He has worked as a small animal vet since graduating. Adrian has a particular interest in Emergency and Critical Care, Soft tissue surgery and Feline Medicine but also finds applying a holistic approach to chronic ongoing problems rewarding. As Clinical Director, Adrian embraces Vets Klinic's philosophy of openness and education to prevent problems and regularly produces both on-line videos and written articles to share his vet know-how.

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