Veterinarians across the country will remain open as there is no evidence that animals can contract coronavirus, said a leading surgeon.
However, Veterinary Ireland claimed that practices introduced new rigid rules for complying with government removal advice.
Dr Conor Geraghty, veterinary surgeon and President of Veterinary Ireland said: “Many practices have divided their teams into two or three main groups without physical contact between them.
“This is to ensure that if a member of a group contracts the virus and is isolating itself, others can take action to ensure that the practice remains operational.”
Dr Alan Rossiter of Veterinary Ireland urged those in isolation now to allow anyone else to touch your pet.
He said: “The tests have been performed and there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats could become infected with SARS-CoV-2.
“However, in theory it is possible that an infected person’s virus may land on a pet’s coat and remain viable for a short period of time.
“Therefore, if in isolation for any reason, or if you have symptoms, do not let other people touch your pets and keep dogs and cats indoors.”