Visiting the Vet During the COVID-19 Outbreak

1 min read April 3rd, 2020


With many people self-isolating, Veterinary Ireland has provided advice as to how to address vet visits during this time, helping to ensure that you and your pet stay as healthy as possible.

Will the Vets Stay Open?

Veterinary Ireland, the profession’s national representative organisation, has confirmed that veterinary practices, state and local authority veterinary services nationwide will endeavour to remain open and operating throughout the COVID-19 national emergency period. Measures have been put in place to keep services available while protecting the health of clients and staff.

Should I Social Distance While at the Vet?

Yes; Dr. Alan Rossiter, Veterinary Surgeon and Past-president of Veterinary Ireland has outlined the following rules regarding visits:


  •  All visits are by appointment only
  • Only one person should attend with their animal
  • Wait outside or in the car with your pet until called to avoid close contact in the waiting room
  • No handshakes – do not touch anyone
  • Use card payments where possible
  •  If possible, owners are not to hold the animals when the vet examines them
  • Keep 2 metres distance
  • Wash your hands correctly before and after visiting
  • Dr. Rossiter reminds everyone, “Don’t forget a sick vet means no vet.”

Including Your Pet in Self Isolation 

While to date there is no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be infected with COVID-19, Veterinary Ireland suggest that if you are self-isolating to not let anyone else touch your pet. The same applies while outdoors in case the virus from an infected person lands on your pet’s coat and remains viable for a short period of time.

Allianz’s Reassurance for Pet Owners

To provide reassurance to pet owners that may require hospitalisation due to the COVID-19 virus, Allianz have implemented a temporary measure.  Customers can now claim for boarding fees for their dog or cat from the first day of their hospitalisation recognising that with the restrictions of self-isolation they may not be able to seek the usual support of friends or family, previously, they would have had to wait until day 4 to present a claim.

Angela Hickey
Allianz in-house vet and qualified psychotherapist.