Please note that Government advice can change at short notice therefore, it is advisable that pet owners regularly check UK Government websites for the latest updates.
In line with public health guidance, Government advice is that you wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet, its food and bedding and that you do not share food, food bowls or utensils with your pet.
Pets could act as a fomite (carrier) of the virus on their fur for short periods in the same way that other surfaces can carry the virus from one place to another. However, there is no evidence that you need to wash your pets to control the spread of coronavirus. You should only wash your pets in the usual way and use products on them that are approved for use on animals. Avoid hand sanitisers or wipes that may be harmful to pets.
If you’re concerned about your pet because it has respiratory or digestive problems and a temperature, you should contact your vet who will decide if it needs to be tested. If you need to take your animal to the vet, please wear a face covering if you’re asked to do so.
Pet owners & self-isolation
It is recommended that pet-owners who are self-isolating, should avoid kissing or cuddling their pet and should not share food, food bowls, utensils or bedding.
Follow the COVID-19 cleaning guide to clean animal bedding and other items, such as leads or feeding bowls.
Make a plan for the care and welfare of animals in your care, in case you need to self-isolate. Arrange for someone else who is not self-isolating or use professional services to care for your animals. Notify anyone caring for your animals on your behalf in advance that you’re self-isolating and arrange a no-contact service where possible.
If there is no one to help, contact your vet or a local charity who may be able to advise you on resources near you that may be able to provide support.
If an animal in your care needs emergency veterinary care while you’re self-isolating, you can arrange to have it taken to the vet, or take it to the vet yourself where necessary. You should only do this if it is not possible for another person to take your pet to the vet. You should tell the vet in advance that you’re self-isolating.
Exercising your pet
If your pet cannot be exercised at home during your self-isolation period, you should ask someone outside of your household or support bubble to exercise your pet for you, or access exercising services provided by a professional. If you are exercising a pet on behalf of someone who is self-isolating, you should wash your hands before and after contact with it.
Detailed Government advice for pet owners across the UK is available as follows:
Northern Ireland: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-animal-owners#toc-0
Ferrets are known to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. If you own a ferret, as a precautionary measure government advice is that you isolate your ferret for 21 days if:
Isolation means avoiding contact with either ferrets or people from other households.
If you’re a keeper in England or Wales, you should register your ferret or other mustelinae on the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) register. You should follow separate guidance if you’re in Scotland. A keeper of ferrets or other mustelinae is someone who takes care of them on a daily basis at work or as pets at home. Registration is voluntary. The register provides information on how to reduce the risk of you or your animal catching COVID-19. You’ll receive alerts if there is a COVID-19 outbreak among ferrets or other mustelinae. If you have any questions about the GB ferret register, telephone: 0800 6341112 for keepers in England or Wales or 01466 794323 for keepers in Scotland
Government advice on ferrets specific to each country in the UK is available as follows:
Northern Ireland: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-animal-owners#toc-3