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Coronavirus: Top vets urge Brits to groom dogs more during lockdown

Looking after pooches in the pandemic

Leading vets are advising Brits to groom their dogs more often during the coronavirus lockdown.

FirstVet’s Dr Jessica May and BlueCross’ Caroline Reay have shared advice for looking after pooches in the pandemic.

Dog getting a bath. Coronavirus: Top vets urge Brits to groom dogs more during lockdown
Brits should groom their dogs ‘more frequently’ during the coronavirus lockdown (Credit: Pixabay)

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In a chat with the Daily Mail’s Femail column, the pair urged Brits to practise social distancing where possible with their pets.

While dogs cannot catch COVID-19, their fur could transmit the deadly flu-like bug.

Dog going for a walk. Coronavirus: Top vets urge Brits to groom dogs more during lockdown
Experts don’t think dogs can catch the bug, but their fur could carry it (Credit: Pixabay)

Owners should wash their dogs “more frequently” after taking them on walks, they said. Owners also need to clip their pets’ nails regularly to reduce the chances of contamination.

Vets say groom dogs ‘more frequently’

Dr Jessica said: “Although pets cannot be infected with the virus, it can be transmitted to another human on their fur.

“All vet clinics in the UK have now been advised by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) that they are not to offer or provide routine non-emergency appointments for pets until further notice.”

Wash your hands well with soap after touching your pets.

And Caroline said: “If pets are coming into contact with the outside world, you might want to consider bathing them more frequently. You should be sure to wash your hands well with soap after touching your pets or leads, harnesses and food bowls.”

Caroline also advised practising “social distancing”, particularly with small pets. This includes not allowing others to touch them.

Use a pet-friendly shampoo

But Dr Jessica warned that, despite the pandemic, dogs shouldn’t be washed “too often”.

Dog getting a bath. Coronavirus: Top vets urge Brits to groom dogs more during lockdown
Be sure not to wash dogs too often, and only with pet-friendly shampoo (Credit: Pixabay)

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She said: “Over-washing them can cause skin irritation, so try to wash your pet only when they need to be cleaned. For example, a dog may need to be bathed one to two times per month. It is important to use bathing products that are designed for animals. A pet-friendly shampoo should be used.”

The advice follows reports that experts are training dogs to sniff out COVID-19.

The charity Medical Detection Dogs is said to be working with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and also Durham University to see how their canines could be deployed in the pandemic.

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