Covid-19 FAQs

Along with other veterinary practices, in response to the government guidelines, we are currently only open for patients that need essential care to avoid unnecessary suffering or maintain animal welfare. We need to ensure we balance animal welfare with the risk to human health, making sure we protect the whole of your family, you and your pets as well as keeping our team safe so they can continue to provide essential care to those pets who need it.

In order to help you understand what this may mean for you and your pets who are under our care, please read the FAQs on this page.

We are constantly reviewing the professional guidelines and updates from the government. If there is any change to what we are allowed to do, we will update this page and our social media pages so please continue to check these pages.

Can my pet give me COVID19?

There is no evidence that says your pet can infect you with the COVID19 virus.

They are however, like any other ‘surface’ (e.g. a door handle or shopping trolley) so if they are touched by an infected person they could carry it on their fur.

We advise that you wash your hands before and after playing with and feeding your pet, and that you don’t touch anyone else’s pet.

Can animals get infected with COVID19 virus?

A very small number of animals have tested positive for the virus. They have always been in contact with a person with COVID19. We don’t think that they can spread the virus.

Do I need to keep my cat inside?

No, if your cat usually goes outside then it may harm their health and welfare if you shut them inside.

Can I bring my pet in for an initial vaccination course?

We are currently reviewing our puppy and kitten vaccination course protocols so we can balance prioritising those pets who are most in need of vaccinations with ensuring we are doing our bit to keep the public and our staff safe by reducing the number of visitors to the surgery. If your puppy or kitten have not started their initial vaccination course yet then please contact the practice and we can advise on how we can best accommodate. It may be we have to delay starting the course until they are a little bit older (10-12 weeks old).

Puppies and kittens should be kept in your home and garden until after their second vaccination, so they aren’t exposed to infections we worry about.

For tips on how to socialise your puppy or kitten while self isolating, please follow the link:

What about if my pet is due the 2nd vaccine of the course?

We are now planning to ensure that puppies and kittens get their 2nd vaccination where needed. As this is not urgent but is an important procedure and we have been asked to reduce footfall at our practices, we need to plan this carefully. Please call the practice to talk about your pet so we can plan their vaccines, answer any questions you have and make sure you have everything you need.

Puppies and kittens should be kept in your home and garden until after their second vaccination, so they aren’t exposed to infections we worry about.

For tips on how to socialise your puppy or kitten while self isolating, please follow the link:

Can I bring my pet in for their annual vaccination booster?

At the moment we are delaying annual vaccinations to ensure our clients and team members avoid non-essential human contact. This means you can’t currently bring your pet to the practice for their booster but if you call the practice, we can book them in for a future date. At the moment, we are suggesting a delay of 6-8 weeks to get us over the current isolation period but please be aware that this can change

Why do we vaccinate yearly?

Every year we advise a physical check to assess your pet’s general health. At this same time, we give a vaccination to boost their immunity to protect them against certain important diseases that affect our pets. The manufacturer’s recommendation is that we boost the immunity every 12 months. We are at the moment delaying these booster vaccinations but we can book them in for you.

Is it safe not to vaccinate?

Currently, due to regulations about social distancing, people are not contacting each other and their pets are not contacting each other or their wider environment as much as usual. This means (in most cases) the risk of pets becoming infected with the diseases we vaccinate against is also reduced.

Your pet should still have some immunity to these diseases. A slight decrease in their immunity from the delay is outweighed by the risk to you of being exposed to Coronavirus during a visit to the practice.

Will I have to restart the course of vaccinations?

Our vets will advise you based on your pet’s vaccination history and how overdue the booster is, as to whether this will be required or not. Most of the time this will not be necessary.

What about social contact?

At this time of social distancing, close contact with other pets is likely to be reduced.  If you feel your pet is a high risk due to your lifestyle (i.e. it is a working dog or you have breeding animals in your household, or as you have to go into work they spend time in doggy day-care/cattery) please call the practice and we can discuss the options for your pet in further detail.

I have some worries about my pet, they’re not an emergency so what should I do?

Please contact the practice via email ( or and we can discuss options of telephone or video (where available) appointments for you and your pet.

And what about in emergencies?

We can see your pet if it is a true emergency. Please call the practice as you usually would, and we will organise for you or someone else to bring them to the practice so we can care for them. We have strict social distancing regulations in place at our premises and we will need you to follow our instructions to keep everyone safe.

Can I bring in my pet for a health check?

No, at the moment we are only allowed to see urgent cases and emergencies at the practice. However, depending on availability, we can conduct a health check via a video or telephone consultation and answer any questions you have. Please ask your practice for further information.

Can I bring my pet in for nail clips? Or to have their anal glands expressed?

This should be postponed unless your pet is in pain or will possibly develop complications such as infection. If you are uncertain whether this is the case, please arrange a video or telephone consultation with a vet or nurse.

How can I get my repeat food orders or medicines for my pet?

It is important that you continue to give your pet the appropriate food and medication and we will help make sure your pet gets what they need

Repeat medication and food can be requested over the phone, or preferably by email- or 01202 427404 for our Boscombe surgery, or 01202 051141 for our Poole surgery. If ordering by email please give your pet’s name, the surname they are registered under, your address, what medicines you would like and in what quantity.

Once ready, we will contact you to take payment over the phone and arrange for the items to be either hand delivered, posted or for you to collect from the surgery as appropriate. If collecting from the surgery, we ask that you phone us when you are in the car park and the items will be dropped out for you to pick up.

We will only be giving out usual supplies to allow continuous supplies of medicines for all pets. We have adequate supplies within the practice.

It would be a good idea to give at least 7 days’ notice of your requirements to ensure we can get them to you when you need them.

How can I get my flea, worms, tick and flystrike treatments?

We are able to take orders for flea and worm treatment, However, we cannot allow people to collect from us as this goes against the government’s drive to prevent any journeys that aren’t truly vital and we as have limited manpower, we need to prioritise our hand deliveries for those in need of vital medication. Therefore, we can only arrange delivery of these items by post. Please email us your requests to or and we will contact you to confirm amounts and postage costs, your address, take payment and dispatch them. We will only supply a limited quantity per pet, to maintain stocks for all.

It would be a good idea to give at least 7 days’ notice of your requirements to ensure we can get them to you when you need them.

Can my pet still have planned operations e.g. neutering?

In these extraordinary times we are postponing these procedures, until government guidelines on social distancing change. This ensures people do not contact each other unnecessarily. For most of our pets this will not put them at any risk. If you are concerned about this then please call the surgery for advice.

Can my pet still have emergency operations?

Absolutely! If your pet needs to see us in an emergency, then we will see them at the practice and if they need an operation, we can do this.

What about ultrasounds and blood tests?

Some of these procedures can still take place for the pets we see as an emergency. For some of the other planned procedures we may still proceed but at a later date. Please contact the surgery and we can explain to you whether this is critical for your pet or not.

Am I still able to arrange a home visit for my pet?

We are only able to do home visits in extreme circumstances at this time and decisions on this will be made on a case by case status, we hope you understand.

What should I expect if I have to come into the surgery for an appointment?

We are no longer able to have clients enter the practice building. We will ask you to phone the surgery when you have arrived in the car park  so we can sign you in. If our normal phone lines are busy then please look out for the signs on the windows and doors as these may have alternative numbers specifically for this purpose. One of our team will then come and collect your pet from you and bring them into the practice for assessment and treatment. The vet/ nurse will conduct the consultation over the phone with you, reception will then take payment by card over the phone, then one of the team will bring your pet back out to you.

The same procedure will apply for any animals coming in for an operation. A vet or nurse will also run through the consent form and gain your verbal consent for the procedure. If you provide us with an email address, we would be happy to email the consent form over to you prior to the procedure.


We are unable to take any cash or cheque payments from now on, and will only be taking card payments over the phone. This is obviously a measure to limit the virus of viral transmission.

We are here to support you and your pet.  Please contact either surgery  via phone or email, if you are worried about these changes.  As healthcare professionals we appreciate your ongoing support and understanding during these difficult times.

Do take care of yourselves, best wishes from all of us here at Natterjacks

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