Mar 24 2020

Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers During COVID-19

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By now, we’ve all heard of COVID-19, a respiratory disease initially discovered in late 2019.

COVID-19 is spread from person to person in several ways, but because we have only known about this virus for a few months, much is still unknown. What we do know is that COVID-19 spreads via small droplets from an infected person when they cough or exhale. The droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people become infected when they:

  • touch these contaminated objects or surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth
  • breathe in droplets from a person infected with COVID-19 when they cough or exhale droplets

The most effective way to prevent infection with COVID-19 and reduce the spread in the community is to:

  • practice social distancing
  • thoroughly and frequently wash your hands
  • limit contact with potentially contaminated surfaces or potentially infected people

Many parts of the world are practicing social distancing to help slow the spread, or flatten the curve, of COVID-19.

To the enjoyment of many pets around the world, their “parents” are now home everyday! As a result, pet sitters and dog walkers may find that fewer clients need their services. However, many pet owners are first responders, health care workers, and the ever-appreciated restaurant, grocery store, and pharmacy employees who still may need help to care for their pets.

It’s important that pet sitters and dog walkers not only protect themselves but their clients and the general community as well. Limiting contact with clients and potentially contaminated items in your clients’ homes will help to protect everyone – we’re all in this together.

If you’re a dog walker or pet sitter, keep the following in mind (and if you employ one, keep these tips in mind to help protect them and you as well):

  • Limit face-to-face interactions with clients – try to do most of your communications over the phone or via email or text.
  • Remain 6 feet (2 meters) apart if you must meet with a client.
  • Limit how often you touch doorknobs, countertops and other surfaces, and pet supplies (leashes, food and water bowls, etc.).
  • Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after touching anything in the home. The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Limit close contact with pets (snuggling, kissing, or letting them lick your face).
  • When walking dogs, maintain a distance of 6 feet (2 meters) from other people. Choose uncrowded trails to help reduce your contact with other people.

Be sure to keep communication lines open regarding any possible contact with an infected person. Keep in mind that protecting everyone involved is the goal. If you develop any signs of COVID-19, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, stay home and let your clients know. Develop a backup plan now in case you become ill.

LifeLearn News

Note: This article, written by LifeLearn Animal Health (LifeLearn Inc.) is licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of Lifelearn. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by a veterinarian.

Location & Emergency Hours

453 Rappahannock Drive
White Stone, Virginia, 22578

In case of a medical emergency after regular clinic hours please call 804-577-0511 on weekdays between the hours of 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon.

At other times please contact the Veterinary Emergency Center of your choice. A list of area emergency centers are listed on the Emergency Information page of our website, found under the About Us tab.

Location Hours
Monday8:30am – 5:30pm
Tuesday8:30am – 5:30pm
Wednesday8:30am – 5:30pm
Thursday8:30am – 5:30pm
Friday8:30am – 5:30pm

- Closed 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm for lunch
- Closed Saturday, Sunday and major holidays
- Closed 1st Thursday of the month to attend continuing education.

Doctors hours by appointment but we do offer free drop off service daily as a convenience for our clients. Please call ahead to make arrangements for your pet to receive needed care and pick them up later in the day.