An Open Letter to Pet Parents: Coronavirus and Your Pets

Dear Pet Parents,

With coronavirus in the news, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the facts. While it can be scary to read about, this post is meant to inform over anything else. I am writing this open letter to all pet parents because I want you, your pets, and everyone in your life to be happy and healthy.

Let’s jump in and address what we know right now:

Let’s start with the basics… What is coronavirus?

According to the CDC, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was “first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. Unfortunately, there are still many unknowns at this point.

Can my dog or cat get coronavirus?

As a pet parent, I understand your concerns! While dogs may be at risk to contract certain types of coronaviruses, (ex. The canine respiratory coronavirus), COVID-19 is NOT believed to be a threat to pets.

The World Health Organization stated there have been no reported cases of coronavirus in domestic animals. Of course, it’s still early days, and this could change. Be mindful to keep up with the latest news to monitor for any updates. Of course, if you notice any changes in your pet’s health and/or behavior, take them to your local vet just to be sure.

can my dog or cat get coronavirus

How can we prevent coronavirus?

Unfortunately, there is no current vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Naturally, the easiest way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure – however, we can’t lock ourselves inside forever! Plus, our furry friends love the outdoors.

As you go about your daily routine, keep these simple reminders with you:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Regularly wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.

While these may be actions you already practice every day, it’s always good to keep in mind and encourage others to do the same!

Business precautions we’re taking

As your trusted pet sitter and dog walker, please know that we are doing everything we can to keep a safe and healthy environment for YOU, your pets, and our employees. It’s one thing to worry about yourself and your family with the spread of disease, but it adds another layer when you have a business to run and staff members to think about.

How we’re keeping our employees healthy…

To keep YOU safe, we’re encouraging our staff members to stay home/work remotely if they’re feeling ill. We’re also mindful of providing items to encourage healthy habits; from hand sanitizer to alcohol wipes, we strive to provide a healthy and happy environment.

In running a pet sitting/dog walking business, we know that our employees need to be super cognizant not to spread germs from house to house. Our basic protocol is for pet sitters and dog walkers to always wash their hands at the beginning and end of each visit. If you have a can of antibacterial wipes, you may leave them in a visible location and we will make sure to wipe all door handles and work surfaces we used during our visit prior to leaving your home.

As a business owner, my job isn’t to create panic, but I do want to be mindful of the situation. Don’t jump to conclusions, but be ready to take action.

Policy for cancellation of Acts of God

An “Act of God” is a legal term for events outside of human control, such as sudden floods or other natural disasters, for which no one can be held responsible. While illness is an unusual reason for declaring this policy, it certainly isn’t out of bounds.

For our loyal clients, if you have to cancel last-minute due to COVID-19, we’ll work with you on any account credits/rescheduling. We ask that you please let us know sooner rather than later – and if you believe someone in your home or your pet to be ill, we’d prefer you to cancel any services you have booked.

In the unlikely event you would need to be quarantined as directed by your medical professionals, please come up with a long-term plan of care for your pets. Keep your emergency contacts and emergency care plan updated in your client profile so we can work together to meet your pet care needs.

Resources to stay up-to-date

Luckily, there are plenty of great resources so you can stay in the loop as more news comes out regarding COVID-19. These are the top two websites for official information:

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with conflicting news reports, blogs, and personal anecdotes – that’s why it’s crucial to keep up with the latest official information. If you have any other concerns or you’re looking for more tips and ideas, feel free to reach out to me. Be safe and stay healthy!

Take good care,

Melanie Haynes, CEO/Owner
Space Coast Pet Services

Melanie Haynes



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