We've had the news that at Alert level 3 the focus changes to 'Safe' business operations rather than essential only. This means we can reopen and start treating our patients again, but there will be noticeable changes. Unfortunately, at L3 restrictions, we cannot see any clients coming from from outside of the Auckland region.
In order to open, we must fulfill the government's guidelines on contactless operation and hygiene. In more detail, for us this means:
- contactless drop off for appointments while owners must wait in the carpark area.
- additional disinfection protocols used between patients for staff and contact surfaces. The treatment bed will be covered with a waterproof outer layer and disinfected between each patient with a virucide proven to kill covid-19. We will also place a sheet over the bed per patient and vacuum between patients to avoid hair transfer.
- updates will be provided by email and phone. We ask that clients inform us of any areas of concern or changes in their pet via email the day prior to their appointment. Anything urgent, can be discussed on the day via phone.
- a Southern K9 therapy centre staff member will be assisting with patients to ensure we are able to provide full care. Please remind us if your pet has dietary limitations for treats.
- invoicing and consent forms will all be carried out online.
- while clients wait in the carpark, we ask that if your arrival/departure overlaps someone else's that you maintain at least 2m between each other and don't allow the dog's to meet or sniff.
- if you or anyone your pet has been in contact with has covid-19, or has recovered from Covid-19, please let us know prior to your appointment. Although a pet transferring disease to people is believed to be unlikely, the current recommendation is that pets do not leave Covid-19 households and do no interact with anyone outside of the household's bubble. To protect your pet from possible infection, it is also recommended to not kiss or cuddle them if you are sick with Covid-19 and have another member of the household look after them while you are unwell.
- if you are feeling unwell with any signs consistent with covid-19, flu or a cold, please let us know prior to your pet coming in.
Currently, we have turned the online booking facility off so we can manage bookings and staff availability as needed for each case. We apologise for the inconvenience and hope to get this back on as soon as we enter L2. We want to stay open and keep treating your pets to help them live happier and more comfortable lives. Please adhere to the guidelines above so we can all stay safe, healthy and keep getting treatment for our pets. If you have any questions or concerns relating to your pet or Covid-19 protocols, please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
Diesel, listening intently to see what he can and can't do during alert L3.
Like most New Zealander's we are monitoring both the disease progression and government response to Covid-19. At this time the guidance to Veterinarians is to only provide essential services during stage 4. This has currently been defined as:
- Companion animal services that cannot be postponed or cancelled without risking serious pain or suffering to the animal.
- Veterinary emergency services.
Depending how long stage 4 lasts will determine what continues to be defined as essential services. For instance, if stage 4 was to continue beyond a month, routine vaccinations and health checks may be allowed again, but with social distancing practices which normally means the pet comes in but the owner stays outside.
The Covid-19 announcement made today, unfortunately, means that we are making moves to close down our hands-on rehabilitation services until the Covid-19 level reduces or the guidance around essential veterinary services includes our services. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience, but as you are aware, this is well beyond our control. I am going to leave all of our forward bookings as they are unless I hear from you, so we have a reference for when things return to normal and we can start to reschedule appointments.
The online store remains active if you need supplements, treats, harnesses or wheelchairs. We are also able to give advice and may be able to offer telemedicine consults if appropriate and desired. Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns or queries.
Stay safe everyone and give your pets cuddles from me x
Today we're sharing a PDF created by MPI to help owners prepare themselves and their animals for heat waves. It's important to remember our animals are affected by the heat too. The water tankers are very busy refilling people's tanks, so if you are filling stock troughs from your home water tank supply, it'll pay for book weeks in advance for a refill to ensure they don't run out.
We went to the shop in the evening, just to get a few groceries. We decided not to seatbelt the dogs in because we weren’t going far. On the way home, a car lost control and rammed us, spinning us off the road into trees. I managed to grab one dog, not the other. They weren’t wearing their seatbelts. When the spinning stopped, the car fumes started and so did the screaming. We were 3 blocks from home. My dog was standing, looking at me, wide-eyed and screaming. He was panicking. He was sore, but thankfully nothing was broken. That night, he couldn’t sleep by himself, he would just lay awake and cry if we left him. We made him an extra comfy bed of his own so he could sleep with us. It was weeks before we put him back into the car. Now we use our seatbelts all the time, every time. Why didn’t I use the seatbelt that night? I’d become complacent. Maybe a bad dog owner. We weren’t going far or fast so I thought it’d be fine. I never thought someone would lose control so close to home and crash into us, sending us spinning off the road into a line of trees.
This story is not to scare anyone, but to tell the truth of what happened to us earlier this year. It wasn’t nice, but we were lucky. I felt guilty for not using their seat belts for a long time. I love my dogs and my complacency let them down that night. I want to give others the opportunity to know that seatbelts are available for their dogs. That a lot of harnesses sold as ‘car restraints’ aren’t crash tested and in fact, won’t hold your dog in a car accident. Crash testing in the US, showed some ‘car restraint harnesses’ couldn’t even hold the weight of the dog, never mind the dog’s weight when force like a car accident was applied. At the time I purchased my seatbelts there were only three crash tested options available in NZ. Ruffwear was one of them. You can see more about the Ruffwear load up harness crash testing here and their decision making process for this harness. There were multiple stages to the testing. It didn’t pass the final criteria, but this explains why: https://blog.ruffwear.com/2015/01/29/ruffwear-load-up-harness-faqs/ If you want to learn more about crash testing, simply google: crash test dog harness and you will find a lot of information as there are various centres around the world crash testing products.
Is a seatbelt the right decision for you? It may not be. You may be better to have a cargo restraint barrier or crash tested crate if your dog(s) travel in the back of a station wagon or SUV. I just want people to take a moment and think about their dog’s safety when travelling in the car with them before the holiday season starts. For us, seat belts work well and our dogs have accepted them. They sit or lie down and happily look out the window when we’re driving through towns. One dog took a little longer than the other to be happy wearing it, but now they see their Load up dog harnesses and get excited. They know they’re going in the car for an adventure somewhere! Sometimes just out for groceries, but this time with their seatbelts on.