Pets and the coronavirus. Can pets spread Covid-19?

Pets and the coronavirus. Can pets spread Covid-19?

16/03/2020

The new coronavirus intervenes deeply in our daily lives. What does the virus actually mean for our pets? And what does this exceptional situation mean for bookings made on Pawshake?

Can my pet get sick from the coronavirus?

It is now clear that the new coronavirus is extremely contagious from person to person. But are our pets also susceptible to coronavirus? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is currently no evidence for this.

Can a pet spread the coronavirus?

There is no evidence that pets can spread the coronavirus. The official advice from WHO is that we can continue to interact with and take care of your pets as normal, whilst practicing good hygiene. If you are unable to do these tasks because you are unwell or at work, a dog walker can help.

In some exceptional cases, however, the virus can end up on a pet’s fur. The pet won’t get sick and doesn’t become contagious in the same way as a sick human. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to observe good hygiene measures to prevent contracting the virus.

Coronavirus patients are also advised to have as little direct physical contact with their pets as possible. If you are in home quarantine, it is best to arrange your dog to be walked by someone else. 

My holiday has been cancelled. Can I also cancel my Pawshake booking?

Pawshake bookings have a lenient cancellation policy. In most cases, you will be refunded the full amount, but pay close attention to which cancellation policy applies. 

If you cancel a booking, you are entitled to either a 50% or 100% refund of the booking amount, depending on the time of cancellation and the pet sitter’s chosen cancellation policy. If you only cancel the booking after the start of the booking period, you are no longer entitled to a refund.

In most cases you can cancel a booking yourself.

The cancellation policy can differ per pet sitter. For your cancellation policy, check your pet sitter’s profile. There are two options the pet sitter can choose to implement:

Flexible Cancellation Policy: Full refund if owner cancels before 12:00 noon, 1 day before the start of the booking period. If you cancel later (but before the booking starts), the owner is entitled to 50%. Cancelling during the booking period does not entitle you to a refund.

Standard Cancellation Policy: Full refund if owner cancels before 12:00 noon, 7 days before the start of the booking period. If later (but before the booking starts), the owner is entitled to 50% of the booking total. Cancelling during the booking period does not entitle you to a refund.

Please note: the services Doggy Daycare and Dog Walking always have flexible cancellation policy

I want to plan a holiday, but I’m not sure if it will definitely happen. But I would like to have everything arranged for my pet in advance. What should I do?

If you want to plan a holiday, it is wise to take into account that you will need a pet sitter. Especially in the school holidays, it can be quite busy and many pet sitters are fully booked. 

One impact of coronavirus is that holidays are likely to be booked later during the year. Another impact is that more people will plan their holiday break within Australia, such as road trips or camping holidays, and as such there will still be a need for pet sitters.

If a booking is not yet definitively finalised, you run the risk that your sitter will eventually no longer be available when you go on holiday. Without a definite booking, you are not protected by the Booking Guarantee (which protects you against last-minute cancellations by the sitter.) It is therefore wise to make a formal booking through the website.

It is risk-free to book a pet sitter in advance. A booking with a pet sitter is only final when it has been paid through the sitter’s profile. As soon as you make an official booking, you also have the assurance that the pet sitter remains available to you, and you are protected with the Pawshake Guarantee. When you use Pawshake, the funds are only released to the sitter after a successful booking period. If your holiday is cancelled, you can also cancel your sitter.

As we mentioned before, pay close attention to the pet sitter's cancellation policy. If your holiday is cancelled, make sure you cancel your Pawshake sitter in time to get the full booking amount back.

I am a pet sitter. Should I be taking bookings? Anything I should consider?

You can proceed with your bookings as normal, but we advise you to take the necessary hygienic measures before and after dropping off / picking up your guest pet. Wash your hands and don’t shake hands / have physical contact with your clients. Instead, smile and say hi :-)

Please check your cancellation policies and consider whether they still suit you. In order to get more bookings, you can download your personalised marketing materials from your dashboard. It’s a great idea to offer dog walking services for those who have to stay at home or boarding pets for people who are away from home because of long shifts or emergencies.

We don't shake hands anymore, but a pawshake is fine!

I will stay at home for the time being. How can I keep my pet happy and not bored during this time?

If you are staying indoors because, for example, you work at home or are undergoing in-home quarantine, then that is a great opportunity to do brain work for your dog whilst indoors or in your backyard.

Dogs can burn energy from a good walk, but also from thinking, sniffing, tracking and playing. For example, hide some dog treats around the house, in a snuffle mat, a towel or in empty toilet rolls. You can also purchase a dog puzzle online from a pet supplier. Make sure your dog achieves success frequently in their hunting game and above all has a lot of fun! Sometimes it takes a while for a dog to figure out what’s happening, so build it up for a few minutes and praise your dog exuberantly when they find a treat.

If you do not want to or cannot go outside yourself, you can always book a dog sitter who will take your dog out for a walk.

Is there anything else I should consider concerning my pet and the coronavirus?

As the situation can change quickly, it’s a good idea to have an emergency plan for when you get sick. If you won’t be able to take care of your pet, make sure to have a back-up from family or friends or a pet sitter. Also keep in mind that flights are currently experiencing delays, cancelations and reschedulings. 

If you are in a situation where you have to leave the house (because you work in a vital sector such as health care, or if you have to help out a sick family member or friend) be sure to make arrangements for your pet when you have to go away. For last-minute pet sitter bookings, check the available pet sitters in your neighborhood. 

I have more questions. Where can I turn to?

Do you have any questions about your booking, about Pawshake or about the coronavirus? Our customer service team is there to help.