Advice on how to look after dogs during the current coronavirus crisis

There are so many concerns right now, not least the health and well-being of those people affected by the novel Coronavirus outbreak and the financial insecurity and damage that has already hit many jobs and sectors.

Sarah Hormozi, head of science and education at the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), has shared some tips on how to look after pet dogs in the current climate.

She said: “These are the steps I am taking to ensure my dog (Levin) stays healthy and exercised, while practicing a good hygiene, and supporting our local vets and dog-walkers.

  1. While practicing social distancing, following the UK government’s advice, I will carry on walking Levin in less busy outdoor spaces twice or three times per day. This will help him stay fit, while also contributing to my own physical and mental wellbeing by providing a daily routine.
  2. Currently there is no evidence that dogs/cats can be infected with the new coronavirus (WHO). However, I am limiting who can touch or pet my dog, as their fur can still potentially carry the virus, similar to other surfaces.
  3. I will carry on buying pet food as normal, every few weeks. There is no evidence to suggest that there will be a shortage of pet food, so I will continue as normal to help allow access to all products for all shoppers.
  4. Despite working from home and not requiring a dog walker as frequently as before, I intend to keep engaging our dog-walker on a weekly basis to support her business in this extremely challenging period.
  5. If I am required to self-isolate, I will follow the advice of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) by keeping Levin isolated with me but restricting my contact with him. If we require veterinary assistance for Levin during such a time, I will call my veterinary practice, instead of attending in person, and follow their guidance.
  6. Given the speed of events, I will monitor the official advice and latest science on a daily basis to ensure I stay up to date with best practice guidance.
  7. I will keep monitoring the local community news and updates via social media, and speak to neighbours and friends, to ensure I can offer my help and support where possible.
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