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Advice to self-isolating pet owners in Surrey and Hampshire

3 minute read
Advice to self-isolating pet owners in Surrey and Hampshire

Published by Lettie Buxton at 6:00am 21st March 2020.

Pet owners in Surrey and Hampshire are being encouraged to think about how they will care for their animals if they need to stay at home with suspected symptoms of coronavirus.

Animal charity the RSPCA is also offering tips and advice on keeping animals happy and healthy.

Dr Samantha Gaines, RSPCA animal welfare expert, has urged pet owners "not to panic and to not abandon their pets", adding there is "no evidence to suggest that pets can be carriers of coronavirus or can become ill from it themselves".

Dr Gaines added:

"Pet owners who are not showing any signs of coronavirus themselves or living with anyone who has symptoms should continue to interact with their pets but adopt good hygiene practices including washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching them, their food, toys and bedding. 

"This is good advice at any time and not specific to the coronavirus situation.

"Avoid being kissed or licked and sharing food with your pet."

She continued it is "so heartening to see people rallying round to support each other at these difficult times", and encouraged anyone who needs help to ask for it from friends, neighbours and charities.

The RSPCA has given additional guidance for people staying at home with suspected coronavirus:

  • Limit contact with pets and other animals while you are sick
  • Do not go on dog walks, instead exercise your dog in the garden or ask a friend or relative to help. A dog walker or boarder may also be able to help.
  • Ask friends to care for livestock and horses
  • If you feel unwell ask friends or a boarder to take your pets to be looked after
  • If you have any concerns about your pet or your pet shows signs of ill health, please do not visit the vet but phone for advice. As you will be unable to take your pet to the vet yourself, have a plan so that someone else can do this on your behalf.

Tips for keeping dogs happy without walks can be found on the RSPCA website.