A few tips for pet owners during the current Coronavirus Pandemic as discussed on Sky News with Kay Burley:
Important first to dispel the myth that pets are a source of coronavirus, so please don’t even consider abandoning or rehoming, or even euthanasia as has been reported.
On the flipside, pets are an incredibly reliable source of mental health stability, so please do consider rehoming or fostering from your local rescue shelter, a new best friend will make perfect company for the weeks and months of social isolation ahead.
Government has clearly stated that only one form of outdoor activity can be undertaken daily, so dog-owners please make sure this means one long dog walk, as two or more walks are now forbidden, and would of course increase risk of spreading the disease.
If you live with others in the same household, then each individual can take your dog out for an individual walk, as long as it’s their only form of exercise quota too.
Alway keep at least 2 metres away from any other walker, and please always wash your hands before and after your dog walk. Garden activity is to be encouraged as long as it’s securely enclosed with no contact with neighbours or strangers.
If you’re concerned about effects of reduced activity for your dog then please be conscious of their weight, perhaps offering less treats/daily food ration, encouraging home-based games such as fetch or chasing toys as a supplement to outdoor activity, and even keeping a diary of their weight.
As I write this, and as far as I’m aware, pet shops selling essential supplies and vet practices offering emergency treatment only, will all remain open for the foreseeable future.
For more information please contact the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) here.
Special thanks to Debbie Matthews from Vets Get Scanning for recording my interview.
Stay safe everyone & your pets.