As fears about Covid-19 sweep the globe, health authorities are issuing lots of advice to people. But what about our pets?

Our pets are vital parts of our households – beloved family members. So it’s only natural that more people are asking: are animals at risk from coronavirus? While there’s no evidence to suggest that pets can be carriers of coronavirus or can become ill from it, your pets may be impacted if you or members of your family test positive for the virus and are asked to self-isolate. But there are lots of ways to ensure your pet is well cared for, even if you’re stuck at home. 

If possible, arrange for another person to care for your pet (you could consider using a dog walker or home boarder). If you own a horse or livestock and keep them on land that is not based at your address, arrange for a friend to care for them until you’re able to return to normal. Always adopt good hygiene practises and thoroughly wash your hands after interacting with your pets. If you’re unable to take your dog beyond your house or garden for exercise – there are lots of ways to keep your dog happy and healthy within the confines of your own home. Try challenging your pooch at tea time –  ditch the food bowl and feed Fido using a Kong or a food puzzle to get them thinking. Most dogs love to play so set aside some time to have a good game of fetch or tug with your pooch. Scent work can be a great way to keep a dog busy for ages. Hide treats around the garden or around the house and send them off in search of them. If you feed your dog kibble this can be a great way to serve them their meals. Remember, cats still need access outdoors or to a clean litter tray and outdoor cats can go in and out as normal.

The Scottish SPCA advises pet owners to call their animal helpline if they have concerns about the impact of coronavirus on how they can care for their pet, during this difficult period.

SSPCA animal helpline: 03000 999 999