Has pet care gone too far?

Handling pets during the corona pandemic

Many pet owners are wondering whether the coronavirus can also be transmitted to dogs, cats and other pets. The State Commissioner for Animal Welfare, Dr. Julia Stubenbord reports on the current state of science.

“Coronaviruses are usually species-specific. Their representatives cause very different diseases in different vertebrates, birds and fish. For example, there is the feline coronavirus with the cat as the host, which can trigger what is known as feline infectious peritonitis, an inflammation of the peritoneum, which is completely harmless to humans. At the moment, we cannot assume that the coronavirus will be transmitted from humans to our pets. Pets can carry the virus through close contact with humans, but the virus cannot multiply in the pet and the pet also does not make antibodies against coronavirus. This is the current state of science, ”explains the State Commissioner for Animal Welfare and Veterinarian Dr. Julia Stubenbord.

Ensure animal welfare even in times of the coronavirus

Animal welfare must also be ensured in times of Corona: This means that the keeper can and must continue to care for his animals, even if they are housed outside, for example in a pension stable. Pet shops will remain open.

“Even with the regulations that have been tightened since Sunday to curb the spread of the virus, it is still allowed to go for a walk with your dog. Of course, under the general conditions that no large groups of people form, ”explains Stubenbord. Dogs generally have a very high need for exploration, which is satisfied by exploring the environment on long walks. The restriction due to the ban on contact by Corona also means that larger groups of dogs are not allowed to meet. If all of this is currently not possible, Stubenbord recommends new toys, including toys that you have made yourself, as a way of keeping the dog mentally and physically busy and busy. The social partner dog can learn anywhere if you take the time and reward him.

Cats can still be allowed outside. Experts consider transmission through the fur of animals to be very unlikely. “Use the time you now have to spend at home to spend time with your pet. You will see that there are many possibilities that might otherwise not be possible or seem impossible due to the lack of time in everyday life. With simple, homemade toys made from objects that everyone has in the household, you can keep your cat busy and teach new things, because cats also have a lot of fun learning new things. You can also get suggestions here on the Internet, for example, ”said Stubenbord in conclusion, referring to the animal welfare ombudsman's office in Vienna with examples of pet employment.

Ministry of Rural Areas and Consumer Protection: State Commissioner for Animal Protection

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