Important information about COVID-19 and your pets Posted on March 20, 2020 In this uncertain time, as the health and safety of our community is at risk, we want to clear up any confusion about the possible transmission of COVID-19 (caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2) between animals and humans. Can COVID-19 be transmitted between pets and humans? The Australian Veterinary Association has released a statement stating that the primary source of SARS-CoV-2 transmission remains human-to-human contact, and the best way to reduce your risk is to practice effective hand hygiene. This is corroborated by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which states that at this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. While pet owners should always use good hygiene practices, including hand hygiene before and after handling animals as well as their food, the AVA does not believe there is reason for pet owners to be otherwise concerned. However, along with the Australian Veterinary Association and the CDC, the RSPCA acknowledges that information on this disease is still evolving. If you do happen to test positive with COVID-19, the AVA recommends minimising close contact with pets (such as avoiding hugging, face-to-face contact or sleeping on your bed) and using good hand hygiene practices around your animals, including washing your hands before and after handling your pets. At no stage should pet owners be taking measures that may compromise the welfare of their pets. In addition to this, we want to remind you to consider the mental health of your pets during this time. Where possible (and responsible to do so), please continue walking your dogs and generally providing all your pets with the necessary enrichment they need to continue thriving. To read more, head to the CDC website. We’ll continue to keep this page updated as any more information arises.