Your safety when taking care of your pet during the COVID-19 pandemic is paramount. Now that we are out and about more, developing habits that put your health as a priority is important. Before reviewing how to keep yourself safe, what role do your pets play during this pandemic?
COVID-19 and Animals
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the risk of spreading COVID-19 from animals to people is low. The CDC states, “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.” To read more about COVID-19 and animals, click here.
To help maintain your pet’s health, the CDC recommends the following:
- Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.
- Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet away from others.
- Avoid public places where a large number of people gather.
- Do NOT put face coverings on pets. Covering a pet’s face could harm them.
- Do NOT wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use.
Your Safety Comes First
We know that you can’t help take care of others unless you first take care of yourself. This adage holds true for your pets as well. Your pet’s health requires that you be out of your home putting yourself in contact with other people. Also, if you’ve returned to work, your pet and home may be in contact with people either through out-of-home daycare or in-home pet sitting.
The CDC’s 5 Safety Steps to Keep Us All Healthy is the best way to keep you and others from catching and/or spreading COVID-19.
- Stay Home if You Don’t Feel Well
- Stay Six Feet Away from Other People
- Wear a Cloth Face Covering
- Wash Your Hands Frequently
- Cover Your Coughs or Sneezes
These practices will make a difference in keeping you healthy so you can care for your pets. Best of all, the more you practice these five steps, the more they will become second nature.
Pet Sitting and Pet Care Safety
Getting out of the house more means the need for pet sitting and pet care is on the rise. We recommend that your pet care giver follow the COVID-19 safety protocols Prancing Poodle Pet Care & Dog Walking Services follows, which are:
For Pet Sitters
- Pet Sitters will sanitize hands and shoes before entering the Client’s home.
- Pet Sitters will wash their hands for 20 seconds immediately after entering the Client’s home.
- Pet Sitters will refill the pet’s water and/or food bowl as needed after washing their hands.
- Pet Sitters will empty the litter box as needed and wash hands afterwards.
- Pet Sitters will bring their own leash. If the Client’s leash is used, the Pet Sitter will wipe the leash with an antibacterial wipe or spray.
- Pet Sitters will wipe off any surfaces touched with an antibacterial wipe or spray, including door handles and keypads.
- Pet Sitters will wash their hands when exiting the Client’s home.
- Pet Sitters will alert our office if they suspect an illness and are uncomfortable returning to the Client’s home.
- Clients are asked to wipe down any surfaces like door handles and faucet handles, with antibacterial cleaner or wipes prior to the Pet Sitter’s arrival.
- Clients are asked to have soap, paper towels, and running water immediately available.
- If Clients are home when the Pet Sitter arrives for the visit, there are two options:
- Clients wash their hands, prepare their dog for their walk, and hand off to the Pet Sitter at the door.
- Clients go to another part of the house while their Pet Sitter follows the protocols outlined above.
- If Clients are sick on a day of a scheduled visit, they are to notify the office as soon as possible so that we can cancel the scheduled visit.
To read more about Prancing Poodle’s safety protocols, click here.
Safety when Grooming
Grooming your pets is as important to their health as keeping them socially active, and it’s important that groomers follow COVID-19 safety. Make sure your groomer follows these guidelines at a minimum:
- Conduct a daily entry self-screening protocol for all employees or contractors.
- Keep people on worksite premises at least six feet from one another, including in waiting rooms. (Avoid waiting rooms if possible. Setting appointments is a good preventative measure as is waiting outside the facility until the groomer phones you.)
- Wear personal protection equipment including face masks (face shields when people cannot maintain at least three feet of separation from each other) and disposable gloves.
- Practice thorough facility surface and equipment cleaning and disinfection between appointments and at the end of the day. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a guide for cleaning and disinfecting public work spaces.
Guidance for Handlers of Service and Therapy Animals
COVID-19 & If You Have Pets
Healthy People / Healthy Pets