Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Animal and Plant Health Agency

We all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should follow the current guidance and must stay at home, except for very limited purposes.

The following advice provides further detail for pet owners on maintaining the welfare of their animals during the coronavirus pandemic.

There is no evidence of coronavirus circulating in pets or other animals in the UK and there is nothing to suggest animals may transmit the disease to humans. In line with the general advice on fighting coronavirus, you should wash your hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals.


Advise if you have symptoms of coronavirus and must remain at home for 7 days, or 14 days as a household. If your dog cannot exercise at home, you should ask someone outside of your household to walk your dog for you.

All non-essential trips to vets should be avoided. If your pet needs urgent treatment, you must phone the vet to arrange the best approach to meet your pets’ needs.

Advice if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus

You may leave your house to walk your dog. You must stay 2 metres away from anyone outside of your household.

All non-essential trips to vets should be avoided. If your pet needs urgent treatment, you may take them, but must remember to wash your hands and remain 2 metres away from anyone outside your household. You must call the vet before going to see them.

Advice for those walking dogs on behalf of someone not able to

You may also leave your house to provide care or help a vulnerable person. This includes walking a dog for someone who is unable to leave their house because they are self-isolating or being shielded. You should remember to 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.

Published 27 March 2020

Last updated 31 March 2020

Further advice

If you have any queries, email the APHA Customer Advice team: