.Gov Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people in England with animals

Animals with coronavirus

In line with public health guidance, you should wash your hands before and after being around or handling animals or their food.

There is no evidence that you need to wash your pets to control the spread of coronavirus. Only wash or use products on your pets that are approved for use on animals.

It is rare for an animal to contract coronavirus, and they tend to show only mild symptoms and recover within a few days.

There is no evidence that coronavirus passes between animals or that pets transmit the virus to humans.

If your animal needs vet treatment

If your animal needs treatment, phone the vet to arrange the best way to meet their needs.


You must follow the rules on self isolation if you:

  • have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild
  • test positive for coronavirus
  • have been abroad and told to quarantine on your return

If your dog cannot exercise at home, you should ask someone outside of your household or support bubble to walk your dog for you.

If you are not self isolating

You may leave your house to walk your dog. You should stay 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household or support bubble, or one metre with risk mitigation, such as wearing a face covering, where 2 metres is not viable.

When walking your dog in areas used by other people, you should consider putting your dog on a lead to ensure you can stay 2 metres away from others.

You should wash your hands before and after handling your dog.

If you’re walking dogs on behalf of someone not able to

You may walk a dog for someone who is unable to leave their house because they are self-isolating.

You should wash your hands before and after handling the dog and keep 2 metres away from other people and animals, including when handing over the dog to the owner.


You should:

  • wash your hands before and after any contact with your cat, its food and bedding
  • avoid close contact such as kissing or cuddling if you are self-isolating
  • not share food with your pet

More information here