2020 has proven to be a year full of unexpected lows so far.
Coronavirus has played a massive role in that. We know there have been lots of worries. Owners worry about their doggos contracting the virus. Pet professionals, like yourself, worry about their business and how they can operate during this hard time. Ideas may flood in your mind about how to pivot your business. The worry of the unknown may creep into your mind.
Luckily, there are reputable sources out there and we can look to them for guidance.
Here’s a deep dive into how coronavirus impacts pets, what resources are available, and how you can pivot their business.
Let’s get started.
Dogs and Coronavirus
Did you know dogs are testing positive for coronavirus?
Sadly, a pug named Wilson in North Carolina (thought to be one of the first cases) contracted the virus from his human family.
According to the owner, “Pugs are a little unusual in that they cough and sneeze in a very strange way. So it almost seems like he was gagging, and there was one day when he didn’t want to eat his breakfast, and if you know pugs you know they love to eat, so that seemed very unusual.”
Wilson is a huge fan of licking dinner plates and loves to snuggle. His owners think that’s how he got the virus. We hope that Wilson makes a full recovery!
Good thing the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has compiled information about dogs contracting the virus. This is how you can be proactive.
If you have tested positive for coronavirus, here’s how you can keep your pets safe:
- Ask someone to care for your pet while you’re sick
- Wash your hands and practice good hygiene
- Wear a face mask before interacting with them (i.e., walks and handling food)
- Avoid snuggling, kissing, and sharing food
Here are additional tips to help you keep pets safe:
- Walk dogs on a leash and be sure to keep them 6 feet away from others
- Avoid crowded places where people and dogs gather
- Avoid unnecessary interaction with pets outside of the home
- The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers grooming wipes for pets coming in and out of the house. These wipes are designed to clean, condition, and moisturize.
For more information, you can visit the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
The Small Business Association (SBA) has stepped up during these unprecedented times. It’s a huge relief! Many small business owners have dealt with the negative economic impact. This association created loan programs designed to ease the financial strain brought on by the pandemic.
However, the SBA offers more than loans and debt relief for business owners.
For those who are interested in business counseling, the SBA has counselors available to help all over the country. This route could be useful for you! All you need to do is input your location and you’ll be directed to the nearest office. Consider using this time to figure out how to improve your efforts. Whether it is updating marketing materials or changing your strategy, SBA business counselors can help.
Something to keep in mind. The requirements and types of businesses who qualify for loans may have changed. For the most up to date information, please visit their website.
A Story From A Fellow Pet Professional
Meet Kim Reed, the owner of Patriotic Pet Care in the Washington D.C. area.
Reed began seeing a drop in business back in March and revenue continued to decrease in the following months. With the stay-at-home order in place, it made it harder to run a business. Dog walking isn’t an essential service. So, that makes things super ruff.
Luckily, Reed was able to find some help through her local government.
“Reed has applied for the city’s small business microgrant through its emergency relief bill and an SBA emergency disaster loan, and is currently awaiting approval,” You can read more about her story here.
This route may be a viable option for your business. Consider getting in touch with your local government. They could possibly help you out or direct you to additional resources.
How Pet Professionals Can Pivot
States are starting to open up. Your clients may be thinking about using your service again. Check in and see how they are handling the situation. Owners want to know that safety is a top priority. During this uncertain time, clients want to work with someone they can trust.
What are you doing to keep doggos safe?
Wearing a mask is a great start. Dog walkers can offer using their own leashes. Pet sitters can ask owners for easy access when picking up pets. Dog groomers can send information about maintenance and grooming tools. Pet trainers can post videos or use Zoom to share training tips.
Check out our partner, FLIP
You may have considered pivoting your business even more. This can be exciting and scary at the same time. Pet professionals are turning to making homemade dog treats. If this is something you thought about, check out our partner, the Food Liability Insurance Program, and learn more!
As you can see, there’s a lot of resources you can turn to during this uncertain time. However, it also means you have the time to reflect on how to improve your business. We hope this information was helpful to you.