Coronavirus and pets: what are my rights? What precautions should I take?

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What measures should you take with your pet in relation to the coronavirus? How to occupy your dog or cat at a time when going out is restricted? We are answering these questions, like so many others, in order to make your life easier during this very special period.

Coronavirus pandemic obliges, our daily life is totally turned upside down, just like that of our pets . We must adapt to this unique context, marked by confinement , restrictions and health precautions , and ensure that the well-being of our dogs , cats and other companions is preserved.

We must also see the bright side of things: all the time we are forced to spend at home is an opportunity to strengthen our ties with our animals.

All canine, feline and other owners ask themselves a multitude of questions during this period. Can I walk my dog? Can my pet catch Covid-19 or transmit the virus? Are vets available? Here are the most common ones and their answers, to help you see more clearly and get through this ordeal in the best possible way .

Can I take my dog out?

Yes, pet owners are allowed to take them out . These daily walks , which are one of the rare exceptions to confinement, are however highly regulated . First of all, you must be provided with the exceptional travel certificate to be printed after downloading from the website of the Ministry of the Interior, and to be completed. Since Tuesday March 24, 2020, as announced by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe , outings are limited to:

  • 1 hour
  • All alone
  • Within a maximum radius of 1 km around your home

Any unjustified exit is sanctioned by a fine of 135 euros . In the event of a repeat offense , the amount can reach 1,500 euros . “Borrowing” another person’s dog or, even worse, renting one as has been seen in Spain, in order to go out, are among the practices to be avoided and which are punishable by law.

Can my pet contract Covid-19?

The answer is no. The WHO (World Health Organization) has confirmed that dogs and cats are at no risk of contracting Covid-19 , a disease caused by the coronavirus.

Can my dog or cat pass the coronavirus to me?

As seen above, health authorities, both global and French, believe that our pets do not participate in the spread of the coronavirus . They are therefore not direct vectors of the disease.

On the other hand, their hair is likely to receive droplets projected by a sick human when coughing or sneezing, like any other surface : doorknob, table, smartphone, clothes, etc.

What precautions should I take when taking my dog out?

It is recommended to regularly clean the coat and wash the paws of your pet, and systematically after outings .

Just as it is essential to wash your hands after each contact with the dog or the cat: caresses, games, etc.

How to occupy my animal during confinement?

In addition to the short daily outings authorized during confinement, there are many possibilities to occupy your pet . Games and other indoor activities keep him from getting bored and staying active despite the circumstances. The following articles contain some interesting suggestions:

  • Playing with your dog indoors
  • Playing with your cat indoors

Am I allowed to take my pet to the vet for vaccinations, annual check-up or dental treatment?

The National Order of Veterinarians recommends, in this context of a pandemic, postponing treatment considered non-urgent : vaccination , follow-up consultations on stable animals, convenience operations (oophorectomy and castration), scaling without infection, health check, etc.

What to do in a veterinary emergency?

Pet owners are encouraged to use the telephone . Concretely, it is a question of calling the veterinarian, describing the symptoms to him and applying his instructions . He can intervene if he thinks it is an emergency .

Who can look after my animal if I am potentially sick?

Several childcare solutions exist. You can call on a close relative (parent, neighbor, etc.) and ask him or her to take charge of your pet, while ensuring compliance with health instructions (distance, protection and hygiene). If you can’t find one, you can contact an association , or even use a solidarity platform such as mon-bibou.fr , which connects pet owners and carers for free .

Whatever happens, do not abandon your companion . Reception facilities are already saturated, which means that the animal is at high risk of being euthanized .

Do I have to make my animal wear a mask?

No. This is not only unnecessary , as our pets do not contract and transmit coronavirus disease 2019, but also dangerous for dogs and cats. Masks of all types (surgical, FFP2, FFP3) are indeed likely to cause breathing difficulties in them.

To read also: A couple amused by the funky side of their giant dog, which he hoped to make a good guardian

To complete our remarks, Santévet , the specialist in health insurance for pets, produced an FAQ with the participation of veterinarian Ludovic Freyburger on the issue of animals and Covid-19 . In this exhaustive video, the veterinarian answers all the questions concerning your daily life, your health and those of your companions during this epidemic.

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