Updated: October 1, 2021 

Greetings all Pack Parents:

We wanted to update you on our latest COVID-19 precautions designed to maximize health and safety and happy pups!

Cleaning protocols and special procedure for you and our staff

PLEASE ALWAYS WEAR A MASK WHEN DROPPING OFF PUPS AND PICKING THEM UP. For their safety and yours, the Dog-Ma staff are required to wear masks. Please put a mask on when picking up/dropping off your pups. (And know the Dog-Ma staff is doing their best to maintain our standard of recognizing every person at the gate although drop off is easier because we definitely know your pup by name while the challenge of recognizing every human while masked at pick up is why we are now sometimes asking who you are here to pick up rather than bringing your dog to you before you can ask!). And as always, please do enter the walkway one at a time — this is more an issue of dog safety than COVID.

PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR LEASHES AT DOG-MA. We are asking that you take your dog’s leash off in the entry box and bring it back for pick up. This will lessen the risks to all of touching items others have their paws on. But also, we want to start bleach spraying the fencing top to bottom in the entry box. (Normally, when staff does the bleach solution spray down of the walkway, we Lysol the leashes and fencing and now we want to be able to douse the entire entry box regularly with the bleach solution.)

WE ASK YOU TO PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE WITH QUESTIONS, RATHER THAN CHATTING OVER THE FENCE. We are trying to take the social distancing protocol to heart. As a matter of good dog handling, you will usually see the handlers in different corners of the yards. The entry/exit box is the area in which there is the most person-to-person contact, so we are trying to minimize that.

EXTRA CLEANING AND BLEACHING. We’ve redoubled our rather fanatical daily cleaning, bleaching and disinfecting routine inside and out. As you know, we are able to keep Bordetella and other doggy bugs at bay with this routine, which involves washing the crates, inside floors and walls, and outside walkway and paved areas with a bleach solution several times a day with all bedding and bowls machine washed at high heat. We are asking that you not leave your dog’s leashes on the fence. Please take your dog’s leash off in the entry box and bring it back for pick up. This will lessen traffic jams, time spent in the entry box and the risks to all of touching items others have their paws on. But also, we are bleach spraying the fencing top to bottom in the entry box. (We used to bleach solution spray down of the walkway and Lysol the leashes and fencing.) We also have set up a hand sanitizing station at the start of the walkway for you. And know that Dog-ma staff are on even more frequent handwashing precautions. (Part of our normal protocol is regular handwashing with disinfecting soap to avoid spreading any dog germs, like Bordetella.) We also have hand sanitizer in the office, food and crate rooms for staff. We know COVID is not mainly transmitted by surface contact, but these precautions also help keep the pups healthy.

We love you, but please do not come to Dog-Ma if you have COVID symptoms or exposures. If you have been exposed to COVID, tested positive or have COVID symptoms, please do not come to Dog-Ma, even well-masked. Some folks have inquired about having us take care of their dogs if they get sick. If you are feeling ill and need to board, please call or email the office to make arrangements to do so safely. All of these precautions have helped to keep the Dog-Ma staff safe. But they also help our clients, given an outbreak of COVID among Dog-Ma staff would require us to do a quarantine temporary close down. Dog-ma staff have paid sick leave. We are a bit relentless about making sure sick staff stay home – it is critical to protect the other staff and the human family of our four-legged clients. Also, we have not restarted in-house pet sitting and dog-walking services, as these pose additional risks for all involved. We suspect you have your needs covered – because you are home. If you need these services and are in a jam, call or email the office so we can try to help sort out a solution.

Thank you for being part of the Dog-ma pack and helping us maximize everyone’s safety. We promise to be back in touch with any new developments – either new information from CDC or other sources on best practices for facilities such as Dog-Ma or if, heaven forbid, one of the Dog-ma staff becomes ill. We request that you also let us know if anyone in your household becomes ill, so we can notify our staff who may have been in contact with you and decide if they need to stay away from Dog-ma until we know they are healthy.

Our commitment to you is to do our utmost to help keep the whole Dog-Ma pack – two-legged and four-legged – healthy and as happy as conditions permit.

Lori, Beth and Bethany

Here are our previous COVID updates: