Coronaviruses, COVID-19 and your pets – what you need to know


With the Coronavirus pandemic, we are seeing and hearing a lot of misinformation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on pets. We want to make it easier for you to access the right information to help keep you and your pet’s health a priority.


What is Coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes Coronaviruses as a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several Ccoronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as  Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the recently identified COVID-19.

What is COVID-19 and can it infect cats and dogs?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the recently identified coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 was unknown before the recent outbreak identified in late 2019. 

Currently, there's no evidence suggesting that dogs or cats can be a source of COVID-19 infection, nor fall ill from the virus. At this stage, As it stands, the WHO and Australian Veterinary Association have only seen COVID-19 spread through human to human transmission. 

There are two strains of coronavirus that affect cats and dogs, respectively - Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (FIP) and Canine Coronavirus (CCV). These strains are distinctly different from COVID-19, and neither can cause illness in humans.

However, it’s always a good idea to maintain good hygiene and wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after feeding, grooming, or petting your cat or dog. This will protect from the transmission of common bacteria.


Does my pet insurance policy provide cover for COVID-19 or other coronaviruses?

If your pet is currently displaying symptoms of coughing, respiratory issues or a fever/elevated temperature, you should seek veterinary advice. Illness conditions, including Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and canine coronavirus (CCV), are generally covered under our Pet Insurance policy (providing the condition was not a pre-existing condition)*:

  • Provided the condition was not pre-existing
  • Depending on your level of cover, and subject to the terms and conditions of your policy

Your Certificate of Insurance (COI) will outline what you're covered for. You can download a copy of your policy documents through My Pet Portal.

Should you wish to make a claim, you can do so quickly and easily through MyPet Portal

It is important to remember, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and veterinary bodies have advised that currently there is no evidence dogs and cats can become sick from COVID-19. 


If I am quarantined or hospitalised due to COVID-19 and can’t take care of my pet, can I seek assistance for emergency boarding? 

Your policy may cover you for emergency boarding in the event that you are hospitalised for 5 or more consecutive days, leaving you unable to take care of your pet. If you're not hospitalised, but simply quarantined at home because of COVID-19, then emergency boarding will not be covered.

Your Certificate of Insurance (COI) will outline exactly what you're covered for. Download a copy through MyPet Portal.

We want to reassure you that we are continuing to monitor the latest advice from the Australian Veterinary Association and the WHO, whose recommendations may change with the latest information coming through from ongoing research. And remember, we’re all in this together so let’s keep looking out for each other, and we hope you and your pets remain safe and healthy. 

Additional resources

Further information relating to the coronavirus can be sourced from the World Health Organisation (WHO): or Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) websites:


Depending on your level of cover, and subject to the terms and conditions of your policy

Benefits are subject to the terms and conditions including the limits and exclusions of the insurance policy. Cover is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473 AFSL No. 241436 (Hollard). Woolworths Group Limited ABN 88 000 014 675 AR No. 245476 (Woolworths) acts as Hollard’s Authorised Representative. Any advice provided is general only and may not be right for you. Before you purchase this product you should carefully read the Product Disclosure Statement to decide if it is right for you.