Pets and COVID-19: Information for Pet Parents

 

Our commitment:

To help you and your pet stay safe and healthy during COVID-19.

 
 
Ron Coughlin and Yummy

A note from Petco's CEO, Ron Coughlin:

We know Coronavirus/COVID-19 is a concerning topic for people everywhere, including pet parents. As your partner in caring for the overall health and wellness of your pets, we want to ensure you have the information you need to care for your entire family – fur, fins and scales, alike. We've tapped into our Petco Pet Wellness Council, an independent coalition of leading experts in animal health and veterinary science, to provide perspective on the most important things you need to know. We're here for you and your pets. Always. We'll continue to keep you updated as the situation evolves.

Ron Coughlin Signature

Ron Coughlin, CEO

 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a rapidly evolving situation. This section was last updated on March 30, 2020.

General information about Coronavirus/COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the nation's health protection agency, defines Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 tend to experience mild to severe respiratory illness that can include fever, cough or shortness of breath. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should see their healthcare providers as early as possible for examination.

The CDC says the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. As the disease continues to spread, the CDC recommends following routine preventive measures that can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and flu, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Put distance between yourself and others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community, especially if you are at higher risk of getting very sick.

  • Stay home if you are sick and maintain appropriate social distance when and wherever possible.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.

The CDC says there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with shipped or imported or goods. There have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. Petco is following CDC guidance. As news and information around COVID-19 continues to evolve, we're closely monitoring the situation and continuing to take proactive, precautionary steps to protect pets, pet parents and our own Petco partners.

Pets and Coronavirus/COVID-19

There is currently no known reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States can be infected with or spread COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States. They are aware of a very small number of pets outside the United States reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19. Since animals can spread other diseases to people, the CDC always recommends washing your hands after being around animals. For more information, read the CDC's FAQ on COVID-19 and animals. You can also learn more about staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, by visiting the CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

Ferrets are known to be at risk for catching certain coronaviruses, and some other viruses that can make people sick. Currently, there are no known cases of ferrets becoming sick or showing positive for COVID-19.

Pet parents should always include pets in their family's emergency preparedness planning and ensure they have enough food and product to care for pets as a general precaution for disaster preparedness.

Petco and Coronavirus/COVID-19

As news and information around COVID-19 continues to evolve, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking proactive, precautionary steps to protect our partners, guests, the pets in our care and our overall business as it progresses.

The health and safety of pets and their families is always our top priority and we are following and reinforcing all guidance and resources available from the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some specific steps we are taking:

  • We're encouraging all Petco partners to follow appropriate preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including staying home if they are feeling ill or believe they may be at risk and maintaining appropriate social distance when and wherever possible.

  • We fully support any Petco partners who choose to stay home from work for any reason related to COVID-19.

  • In addition to our Petco partners' established sick time and paid time off, we're providing five days of paid leave specifically designed to further support those directly affected by COVID-19 – whether by a confirmed case, required or voluntary self-quarantine due to being high risk, living with or caring for someone at high-risk, or because they feel ill or face related dependent care challenges.

  • To provide ongoing support to our Petco partners as they face the effects of COVID-19 – and in future times of need – we've launched the Petco Partner Assistance Fund, with $2 million from Petco & more from our sponsors at CVC Capital Partners, board of directors & leadership team, including our CEO, Ron Coughlin. All donations will directly support Petco partners in need.

  • All Petco stores are cleaned and sanitized daily as part of our normal business operations. In light of COVID-19, we're increasing the frequency and extent of those cleanings and taking proactive steps to ensure all Petco locations (including stores and our distribution and support centers) have ample hygiene and sanitation supplies available.

  • Using in-store signage, we’re encouraging customers to help us keep our communities safe by maintaining at least six feet of distance from others, limiting the number of people per shopping trips when possible, and other recommended precautions.

  • We're restricting travel across the company, including vendor travel and visits to Petco locations, and cancelling attendance at large meetings and gatherings.

  • In our support centers (corporate offices) we're directing our partners to work from home if they can.

  • In addition to our physical store locations, we're ready ready to serve pet parents online through Petco.com and the Petco app, with Repeat Delivery; curbside pickup; same-day delivery and buy online, pick up in store options.

The COVID-19 challenge is changing rapidly and affecting each community differently. We're doing everything we can to take good care of both the pets in our communities and our own Petco partners. Rest assured, we're open and continuing to provide essential products and services for pets who are counting on us in these uncertain times. We're proud to be your dog's grocery store, your cat's pharmacy and the doctor's office for many four-legged loved ones.

As of March 17, 2020, we're limiting store hours nationwide to allow for appropriate and efficient re-stocking, and to limit the amount of time both our customers and partners can interact in our stores. Until further notice, Petco stores are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., nationwide. Petco grooming salons are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ohio pet parents at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, including seniors, are welcome to purchase their pets' essentials 9 – 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, before our Petco stores open to the general public. We're evaluating the implementation of this special accommodation in other communities, as necessary.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, we're prioritizing providing essential products and services for pets and their families. As a result, we've also:

  • Cancelled in-home dog training, in-store puppy playtime, online/in-store booking for dog training classes, and self-wash

  • Temporarily suspended Vetco vaccination clinics

  • Stopped shipments non-essential items like pet toys and apparel

In addition to increasing the frequency and extent of daily store cleanings, we're continuing to provide the pets in our stores with appropriate care and habitat maintenance. As part of our industry-leading animal care standards, we have plans in place to protect and care for the pets in our stores in the event of emergencies or store closures, and the current COVID-19 situation is no exception. If any store needs to close, we will follow our emergency animal care protocol, including transferring animals to alternative safe locations if necessary.

The Petco Foundation is working with local animal welfare organizations to ensure each of their adoptable pets currently housed at Petco stores are being cared for appropriately.

To provide ongoing support to our more than 27,000 partners as they face the effects of COVID-19 – and in future times of need – we've launched the Petco Partner Assistance Fund. This employee release fund received an initial $2 million investment from Petco, plus additional donations from the company's private equity sponsors at CVC Capital Partners, and personal donations from every member of its Board of Directors and executive leadership team, including our CEO Ron Coughlin.

The Petco Partner Relief Fund will be administered by E4E Relief and is open for donations today. Petco partners will be able to apply for support the week of March 22, 2020. All donations will directly support Petco partners in need. This new fund is in addition to other measures we've taken to support our partners as we navigate COVID-19, including temporarily waiving our standard attendance policy and introducing a new paid “COVID leave” policy for those directly impacted by COVID-19. For more information on the Petco Partner Assistance Fund or to make a donation, visit petco.e4e.org.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and our team is working non-stop to meet the needs of pet parents. In addition to our physical store locations, we're also ready to serve you in any of the following ways.

  • Through petco.com and the Petco app – with Repeat Delivery; curbside pickup; same-day delivery and buy online, pick up in store options available at most Petco stores.

  • By phone – call 833-893-0111 to place orders, and have pet food and other essentials delivered to your home.

  • Curbside pickup – the majority of our Petco locations now offer curbside pickup to provide pet parents who are self-isolating with peace of mind knowing their pets' essentials can be brought directly to their car.

We're proud to be your dog's grocery store, your cat's pharmacy and the doctor's office for many four-legged loved ones. Rest assured, we're open and ready to continue serving the needs of pets and their families – including our in-store veterinary care and grooming services – but we've taken the following proactive, precautionary steps to protect everyone in the broader Petco family.

  • In an effort to properly manage social gatherings in our stores and adhere to city mandates, new registrations for dog training classes are temporarily unavailable.

  • To allow for appropriate social distancing, our in-home dog training, and in-store puppy play time, self-wash and group dog training services are temporarily unavailable. If you're currently enrolled in a group dog training class, your dog trainer will contact you to explore rescheduling options. Pet parents are encouraged to continue reinforcing positive dog behaviors at home by following these tips from Petco's dog training experts.

  • We’ve restructured our grooming salon schedules to help groomers maintain a safe distance from each other. Grooming appointment double-bookings are temporarily unavailable to allow pet parents to maintain a safe distance from each other at check-in. We’re also holding 15 to 20-minute windows in between each grooming appointment to properly clean and disinfect the work area before welcoming the next pet. Additionally, when possible, we’re scheduling pick-up times to limit the number of pet parents waiting for their newly groomed dogs.

  • As COVID-19 affects each community differently, some Petco grooming salons are closed per city mandates. In addition, we’re empowering our pet stylists to hold off on performing grooming services and assist pet parents on the store floor if they believe that’s in their best interest and that of the community. Please contact your local Petco grooming salon to confirm current schedules. In all locations, we ask that you please keep a safe distance between yourself and others by waiting outside of the salon if another pet is being checked in.

  • While services at Vetco vaccination clinics are temporarily unavailable, in-store veterinary hospitals are continuing to provide full services including urgent care, vaccinations, microchipping, testing and other vital health services for pets. In addition to frequent cleaning and sanitizing throughout the hospitals, we're offering new services like pet hand-off, drop-off and text notifications at select locations to help minimize personal contact. Ask about these options when you book an appointment and check for your location's updated hours of operation here.

  • Our veterinary staff is being directed to take more frequent breaks to wash their hands, and pet parents are being asked to step away from the vet table while services are rendered to allow a safe distance from the veterinary staff.

  • To allow for appropriate social distancing in Puerto Rico, all services are temporarily unavailable and pet parents are being helped at the door. Please contact your local Petco if you have questions about a previously scheduled grooming or dog training appointment.

To provide ongoing support to our more than 27,000 partners as they face the effects of COVID-19 – and in future times of need – we've launched the Petco Partner Assistance Fund. This employee release fund received an initial $2 million investment from Petco, plus additional donations from the company's private equity sponsors at CVC Capital Partners, and personal donations from every member of its Board of Directors and executive leadership team, including our CEO Ron Coughlin.

The Petco Partner Relief Fund will be administered by E4E Relief and is open for donations today. Petco partners will be able to apply for support the week of March 22, 2020. All donations will directly support Petco partners in need. This new fund is in addition to other measures we've taken to support our partners as we navigate COVID-19, including temporarily waiving our standard attendance policy and introducing a new paid "COVID leave" policy for those directly impacted by COVID-19. For more information on the Petco Partner Assistance Fund or to make a donation, visit petco.e4e.org.

In an effort to reduce social gatherings and help slow the spread of COVID-19, we're discontinuing adoption events at Petco stores. The Petco Foundation is working closely with our animal welfare partners to encourage and support pet adoption and foster care approaches that limit human interaction. Pets currently in store adoption habitats will remain cared for and available for adoption.

As your partner in caring for the overall health and wellness of your pet, we're here for you – always. Due to a higher-than-normal volume of phone calls to our customer service line, hold times may be longer than usual. If you prefer, you can chat live with agents right here at petco.com.

The Petco Foundation recently distributed more than $10 million to support the lifesaving work of animal welfare organizations nationwide, and is in close communication with organizations across the nation to support emerging needs. The Petco Foundation is also working closely with the animal shelter coronavirus collaborative group, which supports some of the largest shelters in the country by sharing information and bringing experts together to develop resources and recommendations. This includes a national effort to promote pet fostering to save lives.

COVID-19 is a real human health crisis. But it doesn't need to be a crisis for our animals, too. Animal shelters across the nation need our help as they're experiencing staffing shortages and a slowdown in adoptions. In some cases, they're even facing an influx of animals coming through their doors or shutdowns altogether. All it takes is a few of us stepping up to adopt or temporarily foster a pet in need through this crisis. Welcoming a shelter pet into your home can save a life. Find a local animal welfare organization near you: petcofoundation.org/shelter.

If you can't foster or adopt but want to help, make a donation to support shelters across the nation.

 
 

As always, if you are concerned about your pet's health, please contact your veterinarian immediately.