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Keeping Safe With Your Cat: Pro-tips for Online Shopping in a Difficult Time

In tough times like this, there’s one source of joy that we can still count on and that’s the companionship of our beloved furry, feathered or scaly friends. 

For pet retailers, there’s no doubt it’s been a unique and challenging climate for everyone as more shoppers head online for their pet food and supplies. 

The team is doing everything we can to make sure you (and your pet!) stay happy and healthy amid social distancing, self-isolation or working from home. 

Whether you’re a seasoned or first-time online shopper, this guide can help you stay safe while providing for your pet and importantly, understand the benefits of online shopping during a time where isolation has become the new normal.

What exactly does social distancing and self-isolating entail as a pet owner?

If you are social distancing:

You must take care to maintain a safe distance of 1.5 metres in radius (or 6 feet) from others at all times. 

The good news is, you can still take your pet out for walks (unless you’re self-isolating) but avoid crowded areas and continue to maintain the 1.5m distance. 

To get your usual pet food and supplies, the safest option is to order online even if physical pet stores or supermarkets are still open unless the store provides a contactless Click & Collect option.

If you’re self-isolating:

You’ll need to avoid heading outdoors altogether. We suggest that you ask a friend to babysit or walk your pet so that they don’t miss out on physical exercise during this period. 

During this time, online ordering and delivery should be your only option for food and supplies. 

Maintaining your safety through hygiene:

Since the specific rules vary state-by-state we recommend that you check a local source for updates; but the basics of hygiene and etiquette apply in any situation! Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, cover your mouth while sneezing/coughing and keep your home as clean and disinfected as possible. 

Currently there is no strong evidence to confirm that pets can contract COVID-19. But since there’s a small chance the virus can be carried on an animal’s fur, it’s still a good idea to practice extra hygiene by washing your hands before and after touching your pet. If you think this might be the case, give your pet a thorough wash at home.  

Doing your part to #flattenthecurve by shopping online

If you are currently self-isolating, it’s compulsory that you avoid public places and stores. Besides asking your friends and family to bring you supplies, buy everything online where possible this is the safest option if you haven’t already been doing it. 

Make sure that you are prepared for the online rush and any potential delays by ordering at least a few extra days in advance. 

Compared to bricks-and-mortar shops, online shops should be able to offer you the following benefits: 

  • Free shipping for orders over certain purchase amounts
  • Same prices or even lower prices as physical stores 
  • Quicker search and access to essential items
  • Greater chance of items being in-stock
  • Less hygiene concerns – products aren’t physically handled by other shoppers or left sitting on public-facing shelves all day
  • Contactless delivery to minimise risk for drivers and yourself
  • Deliveries with cardboard packaging. The virus has been found to have a 3x shorter lifespan on cardboard surfaces than steel or plastic.

How deliveries work for those self-isolating

Since many of us will not have access to in-store purchasing or Click & Collect and will need to have supplies delivered to our front door, the home delivery process needs to be as safe as possible for everyone involved. 

With services like ATL (Authority To Leave), Australia Post will make sure that your driver leaves your delivery in a safe spot near your front door. This creates a contactless delivery process that protects both yourself and the driver. At PetPost all deliveries now have ATL. 

Safely accepting a delivery when you’re in self-isolation 

If you see your delivery driver or a friend/family member approaching with an item, do not open the door to greet them or ask them to step inside. The Australian Government Department of Health also recommends wearing a face mask before going outside to collect your delivery.

Once back inside, wash your hands after opening the delivery and discard any unnecessary wrapping/packaging as soon as possible. 

What you (and your pet!) can expect from online retail moving forward

Strange as these times might be, all retailers need to keep customers front-of-mind moving forward. Your needs have changed recently, and we’re adapting so that everyone can continue to have the best shopping experience possible. 

At PetPost what this means is we’ll have:

  • Safe delivery precautions such as Authority To Leave
  • Updates to our stock supply (we will keep everyone informed about this)
  • Purchase limitations on essential supplies to ensure everyone can have access to what they need
  • For more updates, visit our FAQs on COVID-19 and your pets. 

PetPost are here to help

When we launched PetPost, our goal was to help you and your pets live a more joyful and simplistic life by removing the stress from online shopping. That goal has never been truer in times like this!

Keep an eye out as our team releases new updates, resources and advice on how to navigate pet care throughout COVID-19, working from home with your pet and much more. 

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