There is a lot of worry about pets and Covid 19 - will they carry it, will they pass it on etc. etc. Well yes there has been one isolated case of a cat catching Covid from it's owner - note that it was the cat catching it and not the cat passing it on. But this is an isolated case and it doesn't seem from what the science says that pets can pass the virus to us.
What they can do of course is carry the virus on their coats, just as we can pick it up on our hands, they can pick it up on their coats, when people stroke them and when they brush against surfaces with the virus on them.
What can we do then to reduce this risk? Firstly, discourage people from touching your pet when you are out with it, and let's lead by example and not pet other people's dogs when out on our walk. Secondly, you can choose to keep you pet on a lead when walking them. I know for some this is how they always walk and for others this is not an option they want, they want their pet to run free and play. Remember neither of these choices are wrong and both are equally valid.
You can take action when coming home by wiping your pet and their paws down when arriving home. If we think it's necessary and our CCO (Bron) has been petted by people when out and we are worried we will give her a wipe down with a cloth that has had some anti-bac stray or handsantiser on it. Not too much and something that is safe for kids and pets to be near. On very hot and sunny days we just let her out in the garden for a sunbathe. Covid19 doesn't like UV light and doesn't survive long in the open air.
If you are really worried the final thing you can do is give your pet a bath, but remember washing them too often is not good for their coat or skin.
Remember use sensible measures, your pets aren't really a risk for you. More importantly than checking your pet for Covid is making sure you are washing your hands when you come back from your walk and wiping down things like their lead and harness if you use one. The things you touch are the things you can pick Covid19 up from.
Most of all enjoy your pet and use this time when a lot of us are still working from home to enjoy their company. They love having us here, so make the most of it.
Ruth and Bron xx