Hi Smart Dogs – Auntie A here. As we navigate this situation, I feel it is important to answer some of your questions. As always, you can reach out to me in person any time. Just call the front desk and request a call back from me.
Questions about COVID transmission
Can my dog get COVID-19? Can I get COVID-19 from my dog? Can my dog transmit COVID-19 from a Smart Dog employee and then give it to me?
William and I use the guidelines issued from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) when making decisions for how to operate Smart Dog safely during the COVID-19 crisis.
It is important to note that according to both of these sources, there is no reason to think that domestic animals, including pets, might be a source of infection. Dog hair is considered an extremely poor surface to transmit viruses because it is so porous.
There have been a few isolated cases of a dog testing positive for COVID-19 after living in very close contact with an infected person. There are no instances of transmission from these dogs to other dogs or humans.
William and I are continually assessing this situation and will not hesitate to modify our operations as new information comes to light. Here are some reliable sources for more information:
What if I don’t want to leave my home?
Our chauffeur service will come to you! Our drivers are using extra sanitation procedures, including masks and anti-bacterial cleaners. We can accommodate your preferred method for pickup:
- Exchange leashes on your porch with you wearing a mask
- No Contact – When the driver arrives, you put your pup in a crate and then go back inside
- NOTE: We will still enter your home if you are not able to answer the door
Are your cleaning procedures effective on COVID-19?
Yes. We actually had robust infection control procedures in place long before the appearance of COVID-19. There are several strains of viruses and bacteria common to North Texas that can affect dogs and humans alike. The main examples are parvovirus, salmonella, giardia, staphylococcus, canine and human influenza. These can be controlled with a combination of high-quality cleaning chemicals and good routines.
We added activities to our existing model to protect against the human-to-human transmission of COVID-19.
We use veterinary-grade virucide & surface cleaners. These are effective against parvovirus, which is particularly hard to kill based on its size and anatomy. To give some context, household disinfectants like Lysol and Clorox Wipes are not effective against parvovirus. Conversely, COVID-19 is much easier to eliminate with a wide variety of disinfectants because of its large size and lipid shell.
In addition to our normal disinfecting routines, we increased the frequency that “human” high-touch areas are disinfected (doorknobs, gate latches, computers, bathrooms, food prep areas, etc).
Due to the nature of our business, our employees already work much farther apart than 6 feet the majority of the time. We have eliminated most activities, such as nail trims, where social distancing is impossible.
Employee Health Monitoring
All employees are asked to disclose when someone they have been in contact with tests positive for COVID-19. We encourage full disclosure by making sure everyone knows that their paycheck will be protected if we ask them not to come to work. Employee’s temperature is documented at the start of every shift and those with a fever will be sent home immediately.
Employee Hygiene & PPE
Employees are required to wear masks. The only exception is when they are outdoors, provided they are able to social distance. Frequent handwashing is already a habit because we deal with a lot of dog slobber, dog food, and dog poop (yikes). We have added reminders and hand-sanitizer in extra locations around the facility