SIR – Misinformation surrounding COVID-19 is rife, so it’s important that we turn to reputable sources for guidance on taking care of our animal companions at this time.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association and the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that dogs or cats can contract or carry COVID-19.

However, they may be able to transmit the virus to you from others – if an infected person leaves it on an animal’s fur, that’s no different from leaving it on your hand, a door handle, or any other surface.

This is why it’s important that you keep your animal companions at a distance from anyone outside your household – if you wouldn’t shake someone’s hand, that person shouldn’t be allowed to pet your dog or cat.

On a positive note, this period of lockdown can be a great opportunity for some high-quality bonding and playtime with your animal!

Please remember that our animal companions need us just as much as ever, so do plan ahead and ensure that you have approximately two weeks’ worth of appropriate food and medicine (if needed) for them.

Sascha Camilli

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), London