COVID-19 Crisis Guidelines
The COVID-19 crisis has the potential to affect all of us in many ways. The potential impact to our health and finances is significant enough that pet owners should be proactive in planning for the care of their pets in the event that they are no longer able to care for them; either temporarily or in the event of their death. We have some guidelines for proactive planning for your Shiba:
- Designate a guardian: Look to your network of family, friends, colleagues, pet related contacts, for someone you can designate as a temporary and/or permanent guardian for your Shiba. Focus on the most important requirements for your Shiba and choose your guardian accordingly. (ie. can live with other dogs?, do they do well with children?, is their fencing adequate to keep your dog from escaping?, etc.)
- Start an emergency fund: Set aside money that you can give to your guardian to be used should your dog require vet care in your absence.
- Get up to date: Make sure your dog is up to date on all their vaccinations and get your heartworm prevention supply. Update your microchip registry with your guardian’s contact info.
- Create a guidebook: Prepare written instructions for your Shiba that outline his routine: feeding instructions, administration of medicine or supplements, exercise routine, etc. Also be sure to mention special considerations that your guardian may not be aware of if they are not Shiba experienced. (ie- Shibas can never be trusted off leash, use the harness to walk them so they don’t slip their collar, they don’t like greeting other dogs on walks, etc.)
- Make an emergency contact list: If you are hospitalized and can’t be reached, provide a contact who can get a message to you. Provide your vet’s information, and a Shiba experienced resource for your guardian should they need support. (ie – Colorado Shiba Inu Rescue, or your local Shiba rescue).
- Stockpile supplies: Be sure to keep extra stores of food, medications, supplements, etc. on hand to send with your Shiba. Be sure to send their crate, bedding, toys, leash, harness, collar, etc. with them. Include a blanket, pillowcase, or article of clothing with your scent on it too.
Don’t have an appropriate guardian in your existing network?
- Expand your network: If you are not already, join your local Shiba Facebook groups. You may find other Shiba lovers willing to help out. If the meet up groups are still meeting (with social distancing in open spaces) it’s a good opportunity to get to know them and their Shibas.
- Contact your local rescue: COSIR, or your local Shiba rescue, may be able to refer you to volunteers who are willing to help out by providing temporary homes for Shibas in need.
Don’t wait! The time to think about this is now!
Like any other crisis or natural disaster that leaves dogs homeless, the rescues and shelters will do what they can to help dogs in need, but they will be overwhelmed for sure. It’s better to have a plan so you don’t need your local shelter or rescue’s help.
Still don’t have a plan?: Reach out to your rescue the moment you think your ability to care for your dog may be compromised. The more time you can give them to respond to your request, the better.