We are neither medical professionals, nor veterinary professionals. The following information has been obtained from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine (VetMED), World Health Organization (WHO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), US Center of Disease Control (CDC), National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) (SA) and Discovery Health (SA) (Discovery).
If at any point you are concerned about contracting COVID-19, please call the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) Hotline Number 0800 029 999.
Can dogs (or cats) get the new coronavirus (COVID-19)?
At this time, experts believe it is very unlikely. The World Health Organization currently advises that there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. The World Organization for Animal Health states there is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this disease or that they become sick. The US Center for Disease Control also concur with these opinions and observations. IDEXX Laboratories have done extensive testing (Coronavirus Update) and concluded “to date, we have seen no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in these clinical specimens, even in those specimens positive for canine respiratory coronavirus.”
The most important thing to remember about your fur kids and COVID-19 is that they cannot transfer it to humans, and they should not be neglected. In the immediate aftermath of the outbreak, misinformation that animals might carry the virus led to the abandonment and killing of dogs and cats in some places. Your fur kids deserve the truth.
What are your plans during this time?
Continue to service the needs of your fur kids, by applying some safety measures. We will refrain from customary greetings, for your and our protection. Our staff will maintain a safety zone of at least 2 meters between them and you whilst out on deliveries. Our pet parents will not be allowed to perform deliveries if they are not well. Due to some of the symptoms being like flu, we will ask them to stay at home and implement self-isolation protocols for at least 7 days. This may result in all of us having to stay at home at some point to protect ourselves and others, so please be vigilant and plan ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Did you plan for COVID-19?
A: Indeed we did. We currently have 6 weeks of food in storage, and contingency stock being delivered in Sasolburg towards the middle of April. Our current bulk shipment in May should also arrive around the 3rd week.
Q: Will all of the current ranges of food be available?
A: No. To manage our own financial risk during this time, we are working with a select few manufacturers to ensure that we have sufficient buffer stock.
Q: Will you continue with home deliveries during this time?
A: Indeed we will until such time that full lock down be implemented, or Marshal law enacted. We ask that you provide for a safe space during the offload of your pet cuisine, and perhaps rather request delivery to your home instead of office parks.
Q: Should i stock up on McKibble and McCan during this time?
A: It really is up to you. However, small operations such as ourselves depend on your support during this time, as we do not have the financial means or facilities to weather this storm on our own. We have been preparing since the beginning of the year for this eventuality, and your continued support will ensure our survival.
Key messages for your consideration
- if you have, or think you have, symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. Please inform us about your home situation via WhatsApp.
- this action will help protect others in your community and ourselves whilst you are infectious.
- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home.
- ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home.
- stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible.
- sleep alone, if that is possible.
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water.
- stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible.
- if your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) Hotline Number 0800 029 999. DO NOT go and see your GP, as you will risk spreading the infection. Please inform us via WhatsApp as well.
Why staying at home is very important?
It is very important that you stay at home whilst you have coronavirus (COVID-19). This will help to protect your friends, colleagues and the wider community and will help control the spread of the virus. We realise that staying at home may be difficult or frustrating, but there are things that you can do to help make it easier. These include:
- plan ahead and think about what you will need in order to be able to stay at home for the full 7 days;
- talk to your employer, friends and family to ask for their help to access the things you will need in order to successfully stay at home;
- think about and plan how you can get access to food and other supplies such as medications that you will need during this period;
- ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online, but make sure these are left outside your home for you to collect. We ask that you do the same for us, allow us to drop your pet cuisine in your car port or garage instead;
- make sure that you keep in touch with friends and family over the phone or through social media;
- think about things you can do during your time at home. People who have successfully completed a period of staying at home have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films;
- when you are feeling better, remember that physical exercise can be good for your wellbeing. Look for online classes or courses that can help you take light exercise in your home.
Please do not focus on your dog or cat contracting the virus or transmitting the virus, but instead — if you’re going to worry about something — worry about them being neglected if you get the virus, and plan accordingly.