27 Apr How to Handle Animal Transportation in Pandemic Times
Assignees with new hires or transferring employees should be aware of any issues related to pet ownership as it may relate to a possible relocation; if not, it can ask pre-decision services for help.
In pandemic times, pet owners face unique challenges. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) reports that 67% of US households own a pet, as reported by Global Mobility Solutions. Dogs and cats comprise the majority of pets.
They must address social isolation, sanitation, and safety concerns.
Also, they must address the same parameters for their pet. APPA has identified several products that are ideally suited to dealing with social isolation for pet owners and their pets. Unique ideas include pet grooming kits for home use, a motorized ribbon toy to keep cats active, puzzles made specifically for dogs to play with, and a dog treadmill.
Some evidence suggests that pets may become infected from close contact with humans who are ill with COVID-19. However, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program in their publication Animal Services’ Role in COVID-19 Support, “There is no current evidence to suggest that pets play a role in the spread of this human disease.”
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pet owners treat pets as they would treat other human family members:
- Do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household
- If someone in the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets
What may be necessary for animal transportation during COVID-19? Animal transportation must receive the same consideration as human transportation. The UW Shelter Medicine Program’s publication notes that “Every exception to social distancing decreases its efficacy.” Therefore, routine travel outside of a community for pets should be discontinued, the same as for human travel.
- Social distancing during the pet move
- Limiting moving company employee exposure to the pet during the process
- Following local regulations that are part of “safe at home” and “stay at home” orders
- Careful observation of the pet for signs of illness
The CDC notes that the situation is evolving, and information will be updated as it becomes available. However, as noted previously, pet owners should provide the same level of care and consideration for their pets as they do other human family members.
Many pet owners already consider their pets as members of the family, and take as good care of their pets as they do themselves. As a result, pet owners would likely exercise diligence related to COVID-19 prevention for their pets as well.
What should employers do about animal transportation during COVID-19? Global Mobility Solutions suggests having relocating employees understand how to address issues related to animal transportation during COVID-19.
Employers should extend the same level of service to pets as they would to human members of the relocating employee’s family.