Monkeypox Advice for Pet Owners – June 2022

Advice for pet owners and other animal keepers regarding monkeypox cases in Northern Ireland (NI).

There is a significant likelihood that pet animals may come into close contact with people infected by monkeypox. Monkeypox doesn’t easily spread person to person. It can enter the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or mucous membranes. Although it is thought that animals are not easily infected by a positive person, infection would be via the same routes.

There is no evidence of monkeypox currently affecting pets in NI and human-to-human transmission is likely to be responsible for the burden of disease in people in NI. Pets, which have been in contact with an infected owner, may act as a carrier (fomite) of the virus on their fur for some time, just as the virus can persist in a suitable environment.

If you think you may have been in contact with someone affected by monkeypox or suspect that you are infected or have tested positive, then you should take precautions to stop other people and animals from becoming inadvertently infected. You should therefore wash your hands regularly, including before and after coming into contact with animals and pets and in general, should minimise contact with your pet and your pet’s items such as bedding, bowls, water bottles, feeders and toys.

Further advice to minimise transmission of infection can be found at:
Monkeypox: background information - GOV.UK (

Pets from Households with a Confirmed or Suspected Case of Monkeypox

Households with a person confirmed or suspected to be infected with monkeypox should self-isolate for 21 days. If there is also a pet in the household, the Public Health Agency (PHA) should be notified, and this information will be passed to the relevant DAERA veterinarian. Contact details for PHA can be found here.

The briefing note below provides further information for pet owners:
Advice for pet owners isolating because of Monkey Pox (

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