By Grace Park
Published: 03/17/2020, edited: 09/09/2021
Last Updated: 9/9/2021
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, although the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is low.
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:
Check out these Trusted Media Sources:
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 9/9/2021)
In the United States, there is a spread of a variant of COVID-19, the Delta Variant. Vaccines should still be highly effective against this variant, but the Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than its earlier forms of the virus.
About 377 million doses have been administered since the beginning of December 2020, 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 long as you and your pet caregiver follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it's safe to use dog walking, pet boarding, or pet sitting services with Wag!.
Here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself and your caregiver when using pet care services through the Wag! app:
Protecting pet parents, our on-demand pet caregivers, and, of course, your fur-babies is our top priority. Wag! encourages the pet caregivers on our pet service platform to follow the same guidelines above.
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.
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.
Hope you all are staying safe and healthy!
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