Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for animal owners

Published: 2 Oct 2020
Last updated: 20 Nov 2020 - see all updates

Advice for pet owners and livestock keepers on looking after the health and welfare of their animals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for animal owners
Overview

Overview

There is limited evidence that some animals, including pets, can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), following close contact with infected humans.  In several countries in the world, incidents of infections in animals have been reported in companion animals (mostly cats and dogs), in a limited number of zoo animals and on mink farms. The majority had contact with infected humans, or humans introduced the infection that then spread among animals, such as farmed mink. In the UK, there is no evidence of the virus circulating in livestock, cases in pet animals are very rare, and there are no mink farms. COVID-19 is driven by human to human transmission, with more than 50 million human cases globally.

In line with general advice, you should wash your hands regularly with soap, including before and after contact with animals and animal products. You should avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth until hands have been thoroughly washed.


First published: 2 Oct 2020 Last updated: 20 Nov 2020 -