In-store shoppingFor those in areas where in-store shopping is still an option, some pet stores have revealed details about their safety and cleaning protocols. PetSmart , which include the following, in a press release:
- Store associates are "following regular cleaning practices using a disinfectant formulated to kill coronavirus, among other germs, and have increased the frequency of cleanings of key customer touch points" like doorknobs, shopping carts and checkout kiosks.
- Grooming tables, kennels, water bowls, food bowls and toys are cleaned and disinfected between every pet service.
- Grooming tools are cleaned and disinfected between every pet service.
- All surfaces and playrooms are cleaned nightly.
- Air filters are changed weekly to maintain "clean, healthy air" in grooming areas.
Make Your Own Elevated Food Bowl. You can make your own elevated pet food bowl with an $8 table from Ikea. Elevated food bowls make eating easier on dogs with arthritis and joint problems since they won’t have to bend down as much.
"There's so many selections (of pet food) that it's not necessarily any one brand that people are coming in for," she explained. "We have not run into inventory issues in our stores, yet. ... Our warehouses have been able to replenish and our stores get trucks each week."It's also a good idea to prepare an emergency kit for your pets . The American Humane Society recommends having two weeks' worth of pet food on hand and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also recommends having a 30-day supply of your pet's medication.Petco told TODAY that beginning March 17, store hours nationwide are being limited to allow for "appropriate and efficient re-stocking and to limit the amount of time both our customers and partners can interact in our stores." Other services like in-home dog training and online booking for grooming appointments are currently canceled.
Have a checklist before adopting a pet
Curbside and rapid pickup options
To limit time spent outside, try curbside or rapid pickup options. Petco's stores offer a system in which customers can place orders online and then pick up their prepared order in stores; local pet shops may have even more flexible options like curbside pickup available.
For those who don't want to leave their homes at all, pet food and supply deliveries may be the best option."The health, safety, and well-being of our team continues to be our top priority," Diane Pelkey, the vice president for communications and public relations at Chewy.com, told TODAY. "As of now, we plan to continue operations and are working diligently to fill all orders while ensuring a safe work environment for our team members."
This softens the kibble and makes the food much easier to chew.
Pelkey noted that due to "higher customer demand," the retailer anticipates "deliveries taking slightly longer during this time," but did not provide any further details on the kind of delays pet owners could expect.PetCo told TODAY that due to supply demands, they have stopped shipments of "non-essential" pet items including pet toys and animal apparel. However, other supplies will be available online.
"This is a rapidly evolving situation, and our team is working non-stop to meet the needs of all pet parents," said PetCo in a statement to TODAY. "In addition to our physical stores, we're ready to serve pet parents who are self-isolating."
If adopting or fostering isn't something you can do, the organization recommends donating supplies to both animal shelters and other organizations like human food banks.Similar to HSUS' recommendations, Lacey suggests reaching out to your local shelters to see if they need help fostering or adopting animals.