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COVID-19 and your pets: What you need to know

By  AAMI

From unprecedented bushfires through to the coronavirus known as COVID-19, Aussies have done it tough in recent months.

What is a coronavirus and COVID-19?

A coronavirus is part of a larger group of viruses that can cause animals or people to become unwell. In people, coronaviruses can cause respiratory infections – from the common cold to more severe illnesses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and COVID-19.

So, are our furry friends at risk too?

Could COVID-19 affect my pet?

Currently, there is no substantial evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can affect pets, or that they’ll spread the infection. At the moment, COVID-19 only spreads between people from person to person contact.

That said, it’s always good practice to wash your hands after contact with animals – this can help to protect you against common types of bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.

If you have any further concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to give your local vet a call.

Are animals affected by other coronaviruses?

Cats and dogs have been known to be affected by other coronaviruses. Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and canine coronavirus (CCV) have both been around for a while. FIP is fatal in cats, causing systemic disease, where CCV generally causes mild gastroenteritis in dogs. Both FIP and CCV are different and separate to the COVID-19 virus and cannot cause illness in people.

Does Pet Insurance cover COVID-19 or other coronaviruses?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised that there is very little evidence to suggest that cats and dogs can become unwell from COVID-191. Though if your pet is coughing, develops respiratory issues or a fever, please seek advice from your vet. Rest assured, these symptoms are usually covered as illness conditions under a pet insurance policy.

FIP and CCV are generally assessed as illness conditions and eligible for cover depending on the terms of your insurance policy. If you purchase Accidental Injury and Illness Pet Insurance, your feline friend or doggo will likely be covered for other coronaviruses provided it’s not a pre-existing condition. This means that your pet didn’t already have the virus before you started the policy, or develop it during the applicable 30 day waiting period for illness conditions.

And it’s important to note that Indoor Cat Cover and Accidental Injury Cover for Cats, Dogs and Puppies will not cover FIP or CCV. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of your policy to understand what you and your pet are covered for.

AAMI, together with Petinsurance.com.au, offers different levels of Pet Insurance for cats and dogs:.

  • Cat Insurance: Accidental Injury and Illness, Accidental Injury and Indoor Cat Cover.

  • Dog Insurance: Accidental Injury and Illness and Accidental Injury.

Should your pet become injured or unwell, Pet Insurance could help you cover the cost of eligible vet bills. You can even opt to add Routine Care to your policy as an optional extra. Routine Care may contribute to the costs of certain routine expenses, up to the specified limit, such as council registration fees, microchipping and teeth cleaning. And if you’re hospitalised due to COVID-19 for five or more consecutive days, you may even be eligible to make a claim on your policy for the emergency boarding of your pet.

Explore Pet Insurance

Read more:

1 PetSure: Coronaviruses/COVID-19 and your pets – what you need to know

Terms, conditions, waiting periods and exclusions apply. Petinsurance.com.au is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ACN 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) (Hollard); is distributed by Pet Insurance Pty Ltd (ACN 607 160 930; AR 1234944) (PIPL) and PIPL’s authorised distribution partners (including Platform Ventures Pty Ltd (ACN 626 745 177; AR 001266101) under the AAMI Brand and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ACN 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) (PetSure). PIPL is an authorised representative of PetSure. PIPL and PIPL’s authorised distribution partners (including Platform Ventures Pty Ltd (ACN 626 745 177; AR 001266101) will receive a commission which is a percentage of the premium paid to Hollard and PetSure may receive a portion of the underwriting profit, if any – ask PetSure for more details. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement in deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold, Petinsurance.com.au Pet Insurance, and for important information about dispute resolution.