Pet sitting during the Coronavirus: 11 ways pet sitters can stay healthy
Pet sitters are some of the dedicated people on the front lines during this Coronavirus and great care must be taken during the course of their days to ensure health for themselves and the clients they serve.
The pandemic may have escalated while a pet sitter's clients were away and perhaps their clients can't get home, so guess what? The pet sitter has to continue caring for the clients' pets until they get home. This means venturing out into the community and having contact with pets and possibly infected surfaces until the clients return.
In addition, pet sitters may be providing continued dog walking services for people who are self-isolating in their homes and can't or don't want to walk their dogs due to their own health fears.
Ideally, all clients have already returned home to care for their pets, and dogs are being walked by owners so pet sitters can stay in their own homes. However, the reality is probably very different than this and pet sitters are out there - at this very moment - providing valuable services to their clients.
Here are some ways a pet sitter can maintain their personal health and safety while they are in the midst of their pet sitting runs during the Coronavirus outbreak.
1. Follow the guidelines of the CDC meticulously.
2. If you can get rubber gloves, buy and wear a different pair at each home you service to reduce/eliminate the transmission of disease between yourself, the pets, and homes. This will add another few minutes to a pet visit, but it is well worth it. This will hopefully help to protect you from picking up the virus.
3. Read my previous blog "Coronavirus - COVID-19 and Snuggling with Pets" where I discuss replacement pet sitters in part of the post, among other important things.
4. Wear the plastic booties that go over shoes in clients' homes, and as with gloves, wear a different pair in each home so you don't transfer the virus from one place to another, including yourself.
5. Use bleach wipes at clients' homes - wipe the doorknobs, the kitchen faucets, the leashes, after handling the mail, and anything else you deem necessary.
6. There are mixed messages coming out about the value of wearing masks or not, but it might be something you want to consider.
8. When you get back to your car deposit the gloves and booties you used into a trash receptacle and then use anti-bacterial gel.
9. As hard as it might be, refrain from cuddling with pets so you don't transfer the virus to them and vice versa. It seems that we aren't sure if we can give the virus to pets or receive it from them, so please be careful and wash your hands thoroughly before you leave a client's home and then after touching your car door handle and sit in your car use an antibacterial gel. Try not to touch your clothes or any part of yourself that had contact with the pet or surfaces in the home after using the antibacterial gel. It is better to be safe than sorry. If you did have an overabundance of contact with a pet because they jumped on you, or because you had to hold them to administer medication, etc..., why not have another shirt to put over the one you have before you go to the next house?
10. Once home, take a shower and wash your clothes. Use the bleach wipes to clean your doorknobs on your house and car door handle and don't forget to clean your house keys, phone, and any other supplies you used that day. Make sure you have a good supply of bleach wipes and gloves for the next round of pet sitting.
11. Finally, make sure you are eating well, drinking plenty of water, and getting your rest.
Be vigilant. Be careful. Maybe even go a bit overboard in order to keep yourself healthy during these challenging times. This too shall pass!