ISPCA offers advice for pet care during COVID-19

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THE ISPCA is reassuring pet owners there is no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats can catch or spread COVID-19 (coronavirus).

This view is echoed by the HSE, World Organisation for Animal Health, and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association who believe the coronavirus cannot be transmitted from human to animal or vice versa.

However, if your pet is touched by someone with the coronavirus then there is the potential that it can be spread, should someone else come into contact with your pet. But the ISPCA say this risk is low as transmission needs prolonged contact or exposure.

ISPCA Public Relations Manager, Carmel Murray says the group are asking people “not to worry about their pets”.

“It is important to interact with your pets as normal and to wash your hands regularly after contact with any animal,” said Ms Murray, “It is also practical to make plans just in case you are ill, so that if needed, there is someone such as a family member or a friend who can help care for your pets short or long term”.

Carmel noted even during these uncertain times the work of the ISPCA does not stop, and dedicated staff still provide a high level of care to the “hundreds of animals in our centres”.

“Sadly, we expect to lose many of our vital donations which is a huge worry,” she said, “We are in this together and we’ll do everything we can to continue rescuing and caring for Ireland’s most cruelly treated animals.

“As a charity, we rely on the generosity of kind supporters to enable us to continue our vital work and we do need your continued support more than ever”.

ISPCA Tips and Advice for caring for your pets during this time:

  • When out walking your dog, you should ensure they are kept on a short lead and under control at all times.
  • Restrict contact with other people and animals and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Continue to exercise and play with your pets to alleviate stress in the confines of your garden.
  • There is also plenty of ways to keep your pets entertained such as putting their favourite treats in a Kong pet toy or by using food puzzle toys or by play fetch or tug-of-war with their favourite toy.
  • This is a good time to teach your pets some new tricks. We would love to see your cute animal photos or videos.
  • Avoid sharing your food or being kissed or licked by your pet and always wash your hands.
  • It’s important to you have sufficient pet food, prescribed medication or other essentials such as cat litter during self-isolation.
  • Plan ahead in the event you need help caring for your pets short or long term.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, ISPCA centres are temporarily closed to the public as a precautionary measure.  It is important we continue with good hygiene measures and follow advice. Stay safe and stay home.

For more information about the ISPCA, please visit www.ispca.ie.