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How to help our companion animals during isolation. Pt 3.

Anna Garvey MRCVS


(Anna agreed to be one of the speakers on our 'Companion Animal' panel (details on the 'Schedule' page). She has kindly supplied the following advice for the current times.)

Pt 3 Behaviour (Cont.)

Dogs, just as cats, can suffer from stress. The following articles provide details of what behaviours to be on the look out for and make suggestions for how owners can provide dogs with the appropriate support to allow them to cope with the changes in their routine.

Noticing behaviour changes:

Advice for puppy owners specifically:

Brain games to play with dogs:

More brain games:

Boredom busters for dogs:

More puppy owner advice:

A Couple of other points:

a. Outdoor Cats.

There has also been some miscommunication about the official stance on whether to keep cats indoors or not. This was clarified by the British Veterinary Association’s president Daniella Dos Santos as follows: “We are not advising that all cats are kept indoors. Only cats from infected household or where their owners are self-isolating, and only if the cat is happy to be kept indoors. Some cats cannot stay indoors due to stress-related medical reasons.”

b. Covid-19.

There have been reports circulating that companion animals may be involved in transmitting Covid-19. To put minds at rest, Daniella Dos Santos clarified the situation as follows: “There have been a tiny number of cases of Covid-19 in animals and in all cases, it is likely that the transmission was human to animal. There is no evidence that pets can pass Covid-19 to their owners. From the small number of cases it appears that dogs do not show symptoms, but cats can show clinical signs of the disease.”

There is no evidence so far that a cat or dog stroked by someone carrying the virus could transmit the disease to others. It is however an extremely unlikely possibility. Therefore, it is advised to avoid handling other people’s pets, and to of course wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

And finally

I hope the resources here can go some way to smoothing household relations for human and non-human family members alike, but please let us know (@GarveyVet) if you have any questions. I’m off to build a cardboard treat maze for my very demanding sausage dog who is staring intensely at me from the doorway…


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