Coronavirus & Pets


In this blog article, we answer your most frequent questions around the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your pets. We also provide a letter for your landlord in English and Khmer as we receive more and more reports, that landlords request the removal of friendly pets, which were allowed before.

What is the Coronavirus?

The new virus known as COVID-19 outbreak is linked to the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, which also sells live wildlife, cats, dogs, and reptiles.

In just a few months, the Coronavirus has spread the whole world, including Cambodia. Restrictions of public life, social distancing, and hygiene measures are in place.

In Cambodia, markets and road-side stalls often sell a variety of meat. Wildlife is sold right next to dog, cat, and other meat. Slaughtering wildlife, dogs, and cats is ILLEGAL and therefore, the meat does not undergo health-check regulations. It is usually prepared in unhygienic and contaminated conditions. This causes a significant HEALTH RISK to those eating the meat.

To stay healthy, do NOT EAT meat that is ILLEGALLY caught and prepared! Also, do NOT eat farm animal meat which is sold/prepared next to wildlife meat!

We at Animal Rescue Cambodia are working together closely with Cambodian authorities and the public to:

  • Take steps towards the closure of all illegal establishments involving the slaughter and sale of dogs, cats, and wildlife
  • Take strong measures to ensure the enforcement of existing laws, regulations and directives to end the illegal trade in wildlife, dog and cat meat

Find out more about the illegal and barbaric dog meat trade here:

Can my pet get the Coronavirus & transmit it to me and other humans?

In short: Your pet can NOT give the Coronavirus to you! But it is good that you take the Coronavirus seriously, and that you take all the precautions necessary to stay healthy!

Whereas, pet cats and dogs can get A FORM of the Coronavirus, this NOT the same type that humans can get. ???????? And their virus is NOT transmittable to humans. You are in safe paws with them!

This is the official information from the three largest international organizations dealing with human and animal health – the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health – OIE, and the US CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention).

My landlord asks me to get rid of my pets. What can I do?

As you know, your beloved pets – cats, dogs, and other pets – can NOT transmit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to humans.

However, more and more pet owners in Cambodia report, that their landlord does not allow pets anymore, because they are afraid of the Coronavirus. This is wrong, but often landlords have more power than the tenant. This leads to abandoned cats and dogs. This is heartbreaking.

We have therefore created a letter in English and Khmer to share with your landlord. It explains the Coronavirus situation, and that it is safe for you to keep your pet!

Please stay healthy and continue to love your furry friends!

If my pet is sick, what should I do?

First of all, don’t panic. It will be ok! :-) Signs that your beloved pet may be sick with a flue or other disease include

  • Coughing, sneezing, runny eyes
  • Fever, lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

In this case, call your vet immediately, for further instructions. And provide a quiet and comfortable for your furry friend with water and food until it’s time to go to the vet (if necessary).

Continue to take care of yourself

Please also keep protecting yourself during this Coronavirus pandemic!

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Wear a mask in public
  • Practice social distancing (6 feet = 2 arms lengths = 2 meters) in public
  • Consult a doctor when feeling sick

Stay safe and healthy!

What can you do for animal welfare during this time?

We understand that this is a time of uncertainty. We don’t know how our jobs will develop, when we can see friends and family who live far away again, and how the Coronavirus will change our world and how we live in it.

If you are spending extra time at home during this pandemic if you have the space and heart, why not do a good deed and foster a rescue animal in need?

Did you know that pet cats and dogs reduce stress, anxiety, and depression? They encourage exercise and playfulness, and can even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for an animal is also beneficial for children and their development when growing up! :-)

Thank you to all heroes who help animals in need!

#coronavirus #pets