COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus) is something a lot of people are concerned with, so I want to tell you what we’re doing to help.
Whilst I am sick of hearing about it, and I’m sure many of you are; I also need to address it, as I recognise that I’m moving between a lot of family homes and mixing germs together, in essence.
Coronavirus is zoonotic, which means it can pass between humans and animals, however, the Pomeranian who contracted it only tested as a “weak” positive, which doesn’t specify that the samples contained whole viruses. So, Coronavirus is not currently known to affect dogs (or pets, generally); it’s also not known to be carried by dogs. However, I would, in this uncertain time, want to make sure that we all take as many steps as we can to prevent the spread of this – known or otherwise.
There are a lot of acronyms and germs flying around, and I’m not certain which is actually more scary. It must be addressed and I want to make you comfortable with what we’re doing here at Rove to keep you (and me!) safe – and what you can do to help keep me safe! It’s a two way street, right? Well, a two way street at a safe radius…?
Throughout this post, I’ll discuss the procedures, products and some Frequently asked questions about what we can do to help protect each other.
What Rove are doing;
- Bedding and Towels will be removed from the van,
As it’s impractical for me to keep bedding and towels for each dog, to launder and dry these every night to stop the harbouring of bacteria, these will be removed from the van. Simple, safe, effective and easy to clean.
- A battery powered washer has been purchased and dogs will be rinsed down (with water) after each walk to clear mud & dirt.
As there is no bedding in the van, a lovely mobile dog wash has been purchased and it is on it’s way! This will be used to wash down legs and tummies (hopefully nothing more!) with the mobi v-17 to clean off any dirt that may impede the use of the disinfectant, and maximise our cleanliness.
- Clean dogs will be disinfected with Leucillin, on a cloth (one cloth per dog, not reused, and boil washed every night) before entering the van from both home and walk.
This might seem like overkill, given that dogs aren’t known to contract it, but it’s also about the environment, about whether they can hold it on their fur which we can then contract it from, or similar. Not enough is known and I would rather we err on the side of caution.
- Each Crate will be disinfected after each doggy client
Similarly, to above, I’ll be doing a swift clean out of each crate between each use to ensure that we’re in a nice hygienic environment, or as far as possible!
- Dogs will not, and do not share crates (as standard)
This is standard process here at Rove, but just to confirm the only place they’ll be chewing on one another is in the park!
- The van will be disinfected at the end of every working day
Fairly simple step, but a more thorough clean will be performed at the end of each day.
- I will be washing my hands as often as possible with antibacterial soap, per the guidelines from the NHS.
To try and minimise the spread from me and my potential catching of the virus (no thank you!) I will be doing this as often as possible.
- I will be practicing social distancing
Please don’t expect me to be in close proximity to you, 2m (or approx 6ft) is the recommended distance, so handshakes at meet & greets are out at the moment!
- I will be avoiding puppy kisses (sad, sad times!)
Heartbreaking stuff, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!!
I will be needing access to sinks for hand washing and water for the dog washer! So, if you have these available, please do get in touch and let me know I’m allowed to avail of them!
What can you do:
- please let us know if you (or someone in your home) are one of the people deemed at higher risk – if you do fall within this bracket, we can discuss extra measures to keep you safe.
- Please let us know if you are EITHER self isolating or suffering from COVID-19. This will mean that we will have to solo walk your dog (for safety!) or similar. We will obviously make sure that they are walked, and this follows the guidelines set out by BVA – who also suggest that you if you are infected, you keep your cats indoors. If you are infected, you should also organise (as far as possible) for someone else to handle your dog for feeding times etc.
This is one of the things that we have to do as mutual respect, please do help where you can so we can all stay safe!
Okay! So, now onto some pivotal questions about coronavirus, dogs, humans and why we’re taking some of the measures we are…
Why are you taking these measures if Dogs (or pets) cannot transmit the virus?
It’s a good question. Currently, it’s not certain that they can’t, it is theorised that they can’t but not enough is known about the virus in general. However, it’s more the issue that any surface can be a transmitter for coronavirus, you and I can be that surface if we do not touch our face and do not contract it ourselves, however – it is possible for us to pass it on without ever suffering from it… So can your dog or cat. So we are just practicing a little diligence as Rove would hate to facilitate a pandemic.
Why are we using Leucillin?
Leucillin is pet friendly and human friendly, it’s an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral solution that kills 99.99999% of germs. They have also confirmed that it is one of the highest concentrations of HOCl (Hypoclorous acid) on the market and is known to kill similar viruses to coronavirus, thought testing has yet to be complete on COVID-19 specifically. Please feel free to read their statement here!
How do I protect my dog and I when we’re walking?
Social Distancing is probably your biggest one. I also wouldn’t let them interact much with other dogs or people? I would suggest on lead time with any unknown dog. Please do feel free to ask people if they are infected, politely, of course! But it’s also a great excuse to focus on your dog’s recall. Wash your hands after you get home, and it’s definitely not a bad idea to disinfect puppy a little, too! Just be certain your disinfectant is pet friendly.
What do I do if I have Coronavirus, or if I need to self isolate?
If you do, follow advice set out by the NHS about Coronavirus or about Self Isolation. If you are home, and you have to share your home with family, or friends that are not infected, try and isolate yourself as much as possible. Sleep in the spare room, use a seperate bathroom if possible or if not schedule yourself to use the bathroom last and disinfect after yourself. Keep certain plates, mugs, glasses, cutlery etc for yourself, and do not share these with your family. As to your pets, the British Veterinary Association advise to keep your cats indoors, and to organise for someone else to exercise your dogs (like me!). Please also make sure to make people aware, whether that’s me, your wonderful dog walker who doesn’t want to get sick, or your delivery person or close family who might visit.
All in all, this is a very confusing time for many of us. I don’t want to have to go through these measures, and I definitely think most of this will blow over with relatively little issue, but, if it doesn’t, would I rather take these extra precautions and keep everyone safe, or not? I love you guys and we all need to stay safe. That’s what family do, right?
A great British sensibility. And I, for one, will be doing exactly that – but with a little added caution thrown in the mix. Will you?
If you want to take extra steps, I’m happy to discuss it with you. You can pick up Leucillin over at Frank & Jellys. Other than that, if you have any tips, concerns, fears or otherwise, just give me a shout! I’m always happy to hear.