Dear Valued Clients,
We wanted to address the ongoing dog virus and the precautions we’re taking in light of recent reports of it being in Maryland. We have been reviewing the information put out by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and will continue to keep up with current recommendations. We will be strengthening our usual sanitization protocols and will be following the AVMA disease precaution guidelines suggested for dog walkers.
We will be doing the following (some of these things are normally done we are just tightening protocols):
- hand washing between each dog visit.
- using hand sanitizer between each dog visit.
- not sharing equipment between homes.
- closely monitoring the dogs in our care for any signs of illness, reporting those immediately and taking extra precautions should we have a dog under our care with symptoms. Such as: calling in coverage for the next visits on the schedule in order to allow proper sanitizing of our shoes, going home to change clothes and outerwear before visiting another dog.
- To protect dogs in our care will also be suspending service of any dogs known to be exhibiting symptoms.
- All of the below information comes directly from the AVMA and we have included direct links.
Per the AVMA
“Owners should monitor their dogs closely for progressive coughing that may be accompanied by signs of ocular or nasal discharges and sneezing. Please consult your veterinarian immediately if those clinical signs develop, particularly if your dog concurrently loses its appetite, has trouble breathing, is coughing continually, or is extremely lethargic…”
Dogs are most likely to contract the mystery illness by being in close contact with numerous other dogs.
- Coughing that doesn’t get better after a week so
- Nasal discharge
- Eye discharge
- Trouble breathing
- Blue or purple gums from lack of oxygen
Current suggested tips for prevention
- Keep dogs away from contact with other dogs
Current AVMA dog walker guidelines for disease precautions
“To prevent the spread of disease from dog to dog:
- Always collect and safely dispose of the feces of the dogs you are walking using an impermeable bag or scooper to prevent any direct contact.
- Wash your hands frequently, and always after handling one dog before caring for the next. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water if they are visibly soiled (e.g., dirt, feces, etc.); otherwise, the use of ethanol-based hand sanitizers is appropriate.
- Avoid mixing or interacting with dogs of unknown or questionable vaccination history. This includes free-roaming or unfamiliar dogs you may encounter on walks.
- If a dog is showing signs of illness, do not walk it without first notifying the owner. If you are instructed to walk the dog, do not walk it with other dogs and do not walk other dogs after handling the sick dog unless you have thoroughly washed your hands and changed your clothes.
- If your own dog is ill, do not walk it with client-owned dogs. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling your dog, and change your clothes and change or disinfect your shoes before handling or walking client-owned dogs. Or find an alternate person to walk client-owned dogs until your dog has a clean bill of health from your veterinarian.
- Don’t share equipment between dogs unless the equipment can be sanitized between uses.
- If a client’s dog is ill with a suspected or confirmed infectious disease, wash your hands thoroughly and change your clothes and shoes before you handle your own dog or other clients’ dogs.”