Last Updated: 4/27/2021
Amid the ongoing concern regarding coronavirus (“COVID-19”) worldwide, it is important to stay informed with up-to-date information from accredited resources on how best to protect yourself and your pets during this crisis. Because we at Wag! are pet lovers too, your dog's safety is our top priority. For more information on what we’re doing at Wag! to minimize risk, you can check out our letter to the community at large and stay updated on specifics pertaining to pet parents and pet caregivers on socially distanced services on the Wag! platform, and how to best follow the CDC's social distancing guidelines.
According to the CDC, the virus can spread from humans to animals and has been reported in a small number of companion animals around the globe, including a German Shepherd named Buddy who tested positive for COVID-19 in the US.
Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that anyone who is sick to avoid contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. While the risk of spreading COVID-19 from humans to pets is considered 'low', this is a rapidly evolving situation that we are continuing to learn more about every day. Understandably, pet parents have lots of questions about the safety of their pets, so we’ve posted a list of frequently asked questions answered by veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Racine, that you can check out.
While social distancing, it can be challenging to establish a new routine at home, for you and your furry family members. Check out these activities to keep your dog stimulated indoors. The good news is, there are some key psychological benefits of sheltering in place with your pup to help relieve stress, anxiety, & depression.
Below we have compiled a list of credible organizations and media resources for you to rely on for on-going, trustworthy information to help you navigate this situation.
Check out these Trusted Organizations:
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Animals and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/pets.html
- American Veterinary Medical Association: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19
- ASPCA - Coronavirus: Keeping Your Safe During the COVID-19 Crisis: https://www.aspca.org/news/coronavirus-keeping-your-pets-safe-during-covid-19-crisis
- World Organisation for Animal Health: https://www.oie.int/en/scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-coronavirus/
- World Health Organization (for all COVID-19 & related health topics - Q&A), : https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
Check out these Trusted Media Sources:
- Associated Press: https://apnews.com/3fce67aecaa3a2cb78515a4d748b9fc9
- IDEXX: https://www.idexx.com/en/about-idexx/covid-19-resources/
Lending a Helping Hand
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented animal sheltering crisis in the United States. Many shelters, already dealing with an increase in intake due to puppy season, are being forced to close their doors to the public. These pressures are leading to fewer adoptions and an increase in families surrendering their pets due to financial hardship or illness. Countless pets with nowhere to go are at risk of euthanasia.
But, with so many people working remotely, self-isolating, or otherwise staying home, there has never been a better time to foster! The GreaterGood launched the #StayHomeAndFoster initiative to help pair shelters and rescue groups around the country with potential foster homes. Wag! has jumped in to lend our support!
To learn more, foster a dog, donate or just share the #StayHomeAndFoster hashtag on your own social accounts, you can visit https://stayhomeandfoster.org/ to support the cause.
*New Updates* (As of 4/27/2021)
In the United States, about 229 million doses have been administered since the beginning of April 2021, according to the CDC. (To apply to get the Pfizer/J&J/AstraZeneca/Moderna vaccine, sign up here.) This is a huge turning point for the United States. Still, CDC recommends those who have been fully vaccinated to wear a mask and stay six feet apart from others in public, when gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household and when visiting with an unvaccinated person who is immunocompromised or lives with a person who is immunocompromised.
As of a few days ago, vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Friday to recommend resuming the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. Learn more about their decision here.
Currently, the United States will also begin sharing millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with other countries soon. Learn more about the AstraZeneca vaccine here.
Here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself and your caregiver when using pet care services through the Wag! app:
- Wear a face mask when interacting with others indoors or outdoors.
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet where possible.
- Limit face-to-face contact as much as possible.
- Wash your hands before and after handling items like leashes, harnesses, crates, etc.
- Sanitize any surfaces or items handled by your dog walker or pet caregiver.
- Use hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol when you're unable to wash your hands with soap and water.
- If you have to cough or sneeze, turn away from others and do so into your elbow or a tissue, not your hands.
We also ask our pet caregivers to wear masks and resist the urge to pet your dog. Pet caregivers also have the option to complete a COVID-19 module to learn more about the CDC's recommendations regarding pet care. Those who complete the module will have a "Socially Distanced Pet Care" badge on their profile.
If you feel sick or have recently interacted face-to-face with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, please refrain from traveling to a boarding facility or the home of a pet caregiver. This will help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and keep dog boarders and pet parents safe. Let your pet caregiver know if you need to cancel your booking or make alternative arrangements as soon as possible.
Hope you all are staying safe and healthy!