Pets are good for our health and well-being. They are known stress relievers and have an extraordinary power that makes us feel an overall sense of happiness. As we all face a ‘new normal’ for everyday life, we could all use a touch of fur-friend happiness.
House and pet sits are making a comeback, with COVID-19 restrictions in Australia easing in some areas. But preparation and vigilance will be key in ensuring the safety of pet owners, pet sitters and our cuddly fur-friends.
The CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Infections) offers tips and hints for staying safe at home. Below we’ve outlined some of the simple steps you can take to stay safe and healthy.
- Stay Informed – Regularly check local health guidelines for your state. Know where the local hospitals and healthcare services are available. Guidelines and travel restrictions can change, so continue to check health advice relevant to you once a booking is made, in the weeks before, and immediately before the start of the position.
- Clean Thoroughly and Often – Cleanliness is everyone’s responsibility. Frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, tabletops, benches, light switches, desks, toilets, sinks and bedrails should be cleaned and disinfected with detergent solution. Follow The World Health Organisation’s guide for the correct hand washing technique with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus. Pet sitters should consider taking their own linen. Laundry items should be washed on the warmest setting and dried immediately.
- Limit Contact – Consider limiting access to rooms for pet sits. One bathroom, one bedroom and common areas.
- Pets – Information available to date suggests that animals pose a low risk of spreading COVID-19 to people. However, it is a good idea to thoroughly wash your hands before and after handling pets and their food, water, and medications. Exercise social distancing on daily walks, limiting contact with animals from outside the home and clean and dry their paws when back at home.
- Be Prepared – Like all pets sits, an emergency contact list is essential, and now it is more important than ever. Should you need to be hospitalised, a clear list of several contacts, such as neighbours, friends and family, should be easily accessible to call on to care for your pet.
- Be Vigilant – Consider pet owners and pet sitters who may be at high risk and take extra precautions to ensure their safety. Ask about any symptoms in the final week before the position commences and if in doubt, make other arrangements.