Cautious pet owners avoiding clinic, calling vets home…

Coronavirus-cautious Australian pet owners keen to avoid taking their fur babies into vet waiting rooms are boosting demand mobile veterinary services.

National app-based mobile vet booking service Pawssum Vets said it was experiencing a 200 percent spike in requests for home consultations on the back of fears about the virus.

Demand was rising across all states but was higher in Melbourne and Sydney, said Pawssum Vets co-founder Guy Sharabi.

“Many people are telling us they don’t want to take their pets out of the house, that they’re worried about the chance of exposing their pets and themselves to the coronavirus, so are calling the vet to their homes instead,” said Mr Sharabi.

“Even though the World Health Organization is stating there is no evidence that companion animals such as dogs or cats can become sick with the new coronavirus, it certainly appears some pet owners are self quarantining in their homes as much as they can.

“This consumer ‘stay at home’ or ‘nesting’ phenomenon is likely to increase demand for other order-in services like Uber Eats, Netflix and Amazon Prime.”

Pawssum vet Dr Kirsten Aberle said information from the World Organisation for Animal Health and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, the preeminent bodies associated with animal health, revealed no evidence that dogs or cats played a role in the spread of COVID-19.

“We do not have to fear that our pets will get sick from COVID-19, nor do we have to fear that they will give it to us,” said Dr Aberle.

“One dog has tested positive to COVID-19 after close contact with its infected owner, however the dog is not sick and transmission back to people has not been established. Our current knowledge is that COVID-19 is a human only disease.

“This new coronavirus infection is thought to have originated from Horseshoe Bat populations and the spread of it is due to human to human transmission only.

“Other coronaviruses exist in our pet populations, but they are not COVID-19; they are completely different viruses that do not cause COVID-19 disease.”

Pawssum Vets provides personalised health care to pets in the comfort of their home by highly-skilled local vets. On-demand veterinarians are available 365 days a year with extended operating hours. 

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world with the nation home to an estimated 5.1million dogs and 3.8million cats, and owners spending more than $13 billion a year on their fur babies**