Please read below for important information about our daycare reopening.
We hope this post finds you well!
First of all, thank you to those of you that took the time to answer our survey. It was very helpful to get your feedback. We appreciate your input!
This is a such an uncertain time. Should we reopen? Can we do it safely? We have spent time researching and planning on how to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 to you and our team in order for us to feel good about reopening our doors. The research has shown the social distancing is the key to keeping the transmission down and we have worked out a plan to keep social distancing at the front of all we do.
The core of all we do is your dogs. Their safety, well-being, and happiness are the most important thing to us. Creating the “perfect for you” family dog – through exercise, play, learning – is always our goal. We do what we do so your dog is a happy, healthy member of your family – and ours!
Dogs thrive with structure and socialization. They are social beings as much as we are! Many of you have noticed that during our month off, your dogs have seemed different – clingy, restless, barky. They may miss their friends, just as much as you miss your friends and family. But they can’t video chat or call their friends. While they can’t understand what is going on, they can understand stress, sadness, and many other emotions you might be feeling.
How can we help our dogs while keeping ourselves and our pups safe and healthy? Under Governor Evers’ Safer at Home orders, pet daycare is an essential business. In order for us to feel good about operating our business in a time of unparalleled uncertainty, we needed to understand how to protect everyone and maintain our social responsibility. We have put into place several new procedures to allow for completely contactless drop off and pick up, keeping everyone’s safety in mind.
WE PLAN TO OPEN FOR DAYCARE MONDAY MAY 4th at our Fitchburg and East locations. Puppies will be able to attend daycare at our Fitchburg adult location.
The Dog Den’s Safety Plan
Contactless Drop Off and Pick Up
We have created a plan to have no contact drop off and pick up. Please visit our blog for more details: http://www.thedogden.com/blog/contactless-pick-up-drop-off/
We will have people at our lobby doors between the hours of 6:30a-9:30a and 3:30p-6p. Outside of these hours our lobby will be closed. You can still drop off or pick up during our closed hours if you give us a call at 608-278-7529 (Fitchburg) or 608-241-3647 (East). We’ll meet you at the door to gather your pup.
Payments and Reservations
We will only be accepting payments online – check out this article on how to access your portal – or give us a call. We’ll walk you through it! For the month of May only, we are going to ask those of you that would like to come back to daycare, to make new reservations. We know this may seem fussy and unnecessary, but we have lowered our capacity of the month of May to operate more safely. Instead of asking everyone with standing reservations to cancel if you don’t want to come, we are going to ask those of you that DO want to come to contact us and let us know when. We’ll get you set up for the month of May. As is common these days, we can’t predict what June will bring, but as June approaches, we will be in touch with how we plan to proceed.
Lunch for Daycare Dogs
In order to keep the transmission down, we ask that all lunches be brought in a resealable plastic bag clearly labeled with your dog’s first and last name. There will be a container in the drop off/pick up area that you can place the lunches in when you are dropping off your dog for the day. When it’s time for lunch, we will collect all lunches, disinfect the baggies, and feed lunches in our own bowls which will be cleaned and sanitized after each use. The baggies and any remaining food will be thrown away after lunch so if you dog doesn’t normally eat or finish all the food you bring, please help us keep waste to minimum and skip bringing lunch at this time. Please let us know if you have any questions!
Our normal set up keeps our staff safely social distancing. We will further this by not allowing any two staff members to be in the same area without masks. Each staff member has been trained in cleaning, disinfecting, and good hygiene. Staff members are not allowed to work if it’s known that they haven’t been following safe social distancing in their personal lives and will be asked to remain at home if they are at all feeling sick. We are keeping the same staff at the same locations for the month of May to be able to limit contact with many different people.Staff will not be allowed to kiss your pups at this time and will keep contact to a minimum.
Additional Things to Note
Safer at Home has given us a chance to spend more time with our families, including our pets. As canine behavior experts, we know how important it is for your dogs to spend time with you. We also know that the stress of having a routine disrupted can be devastating for your dogs. When the time comes for people to head back to work and have full calendars with social events, your dog may begin to suffer from separation anxiety. It’s as important now as it ever has been to keep a routine with your pups. When it’s work time, they must learn entertain themselves – or have quiet down time in their crates or another room.
Continued socialization is also incredibly important – not only for the puppies where it is critical – but also in already social dogs. Continuing to expose them to other dogs and people will help keep those social skills sharp and prevent your dog from developing stress, fear, or anxiety.If daycare is a part of their routine, returning to daycare is an easy way to check off both the socialization and structure to your dog’s week.
Can your Dog Get COVID-19?
Short answer, it appears so, but the cases have been extremely rare. It has been shown that under perfect laboratory conditions, canines can be infected with the virus. These pups have not shown any symptoms and the mortality rate from the virus is zero. There has been no recorded evidence of canine-canine transfer of the virus at this time. Also, according to the CDC, OIE, and AVMA, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and the based on current data, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered low.
You can read more about the experiment and the researchers results here: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/07/science.abb7015
It is recommended that if you are sick, you treat your animals like you would people and avoid contact with them and avoid bringing them around other animals.
While this is still an emerging disease, we believe based on the current research at this time that dogs are safe to be around each other without the threat of COVID-19 spread either to each other or to people. We are staying on top of this research and will let you know of any changes.
With any socialization, there is always a risk of spreading diseases. Social dogs may come into contact with kennel cough, canine flu, and more. Even dogs that don’t come in to contact with other dogs may get things like giardia from playing in standing water or eating wildlife feces. At this time, it is less likely that your dogs will get COVID-19 than it will kennel cough, canine flu, or even giardia. While we do not claim to be an authority in any medical topics, we encourage you to do your research and make your own decisions about the risks and benefits of continuing to socialize your dog in our daycare setting.
Here are some links we found useful during our research:http://www.syreaf.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Rapid-Review-of-pets-as-fomites_3.pdfhttps://www.oie.int/en/scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-coronavirus/https://www.dvm360.com/view/cat-tests-positive-for-covid-19,-but-there-is-no-cause-for-panichttps://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/04/how-to-protect-your-pets-coronavirus/#closehttps://nypost.com/2020/04/21/dogs-could-get-separation-anxiety-when-coronavirus-quarantine-ends-experts/https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2020/4/24/21231806/coronavirus-pets-covid-19-cats-dogshttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html
Whew! That was a lot of information, but we want you to be informed and know that we are taking our responsibilities to you, your pups, and each other very seriously. While you make your decision on whether or not your pup will return to daycare, we will be here for you!
For those of you returning during the month of May, we will need the following:
- Update your reservations by visiting your portal or emailing us (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
- Review our new drop off and pick up procedures, including lunch http://www.thedogden.com/blog/contactless-pick-up-drop-off/
- Review our COVID-19 agreement and sign (found in your portal)
- Familiarize yourself with your portal for payments or call us – we can help!
For those wanting to return after Safer at Home is lifted or later in the summer, we will be following up in a few weeks.
Oh! One last thing – road construction has started on Fish Hatchery Road. We have provide you with some options to avoid the construction here
We look forward to seeing you all soon!
The Dog Den & The Puppy Den Team