Pets and Covid are not common discussion points. However, lots of us are worried about our pets should we, or they, become ill. Here are some useful links and information to help ease our fears.
There is a general guide for pet owners and those with livestock on the Government website. This is regularly updated as the situation changes regarding the law.
If you get poorly…
The vast majority of people who get Covid experience no, or few, symptoms and are able to manage at home. If you are poorly at home and are self isolating, you may need some support with looking after your pets. There is some excellent information from the British Veterinary Association HERE about what to do.
Remember that Vets are open for appointments during the Lockdown and you can call them with any concerns. If you are part of a support bubble, you may be able to ask for dog walks for example. Manage visits carefully to avoid contact. Wash your hands before and after contact with your pet, and try to have minimal contact. Naturally, this will vary depending on what your pet is.
If your pet gets poorly…
Very few cases globally have been found in pets. It is highly unlikely that your pet has Covid. As above, your local Vet is still working during the Lockdown so you can call for advice, or make an appointment. There is a useful article on the PDSA website about Coronovirus and Animals.
How pets are helping…
Pet ownership has soared in the UK since the lockdown. According to a new survey, roughly half of all pet owners have added a second pet to their homes and even those without any pets are looking to make life more interesting with a pet.
Those of us with pets know the benefits. Choosing the right pet for you is an important part of the process. If you are able to make a commitment to daily walks, then a dog is a good choice, making sure you have space for their bed and can afford their upkeep. This is also helpful in keeping fit and agile, which is good for our mental and physical wellbeing. You can read more about the benefits of dog walking HERE.
If in need of comfort and contact you may prefer a smaller dog or a cat, rabbit, guinea pigs. These are all furry and cuddly, although again you must be aware of the commitment you are making and the space you have available.
For a more visual experience, fish are very traditional or a more exotic pet like a bearded dragon might meet your needs. Doing your research into what your pet of choice needs and how long they might live (over 10 years for a bearded dragon) will help you decide on the best fit.
Remember to only purchase or adopt pets from reputable sources.
People with pets know the joy and companionship they can bring, and while they may not be in our lives for as long as a human might be (unless you have a tortoise), the memories you make with them will remain with you always.
Looking after pets when isolating.
Wash hands regularly, play with minimal touching,