The temperature is rising, sunnier days are afoot and most importantly, Massachusetts is beginning to “reopen”. Summer 2020 is certainly not going to resemble any previous year on the Cape and Islands but everyone wants to get back to “a new normal” as quickly as it is safe to do so. Here are some things you should keep in mind regarding the changes this summer may mean for you and your pup.
If you’re travelling to the Cape and Islands from out of state, please follow all local recommendations regarding quarantining on your arrival – and yes, that will mean your pup too. While there is currently no reason to believe that the Coronavirus can be passed from pet to person, it is possible (though perhaps not riskier than any other surface contaigion) that the virus can be spread via a pet, specifically, on their coat and of course on any of their accessories (leashes, collars, brushes etc) that are regularly handled. Even if you’re staying home, allowing someone else to pick up your dog could pose a risk of contagion. The family should stick together throughout any quarantine period.
While out and about, please again follow local recommendations regarding social distancing. In Massachusetts it is now required that everyone wear a mask in public if it is not possible to keep a distance of 6 feet from the other person. It’s never a good time to allow your pup to approach another person off-leash and uninvited, but it’s even more important not to do so now. Many people are socially distancing their pets too given the aforementioned possible risk of the virus being passed through contact with a family pet. Getting out and about with your dog is a great idea, especially in these particularly trying times, but while 2 pups may seem like compatible playmates, please keep in mind that if it’s necessary to separate them, their people may have to get in closer contact than either one of the parties may be comfortable with.
Hotels and restaurants are still awaiting reopening protocols but capacity in both is likely to be much reduced. If you have to rely on hotel accommodation at either end of your stay, check that they have sufficient dog-friendly rooms. Also keep in mind that check-in and check-out times are going to be adhered to more tightly so as to allow sufficient cleaning times between guests. Pup may not be able to stay at the house/in the hotel room while you go to the beach for that first/last swim and leaving pets in cars parked under the hot summer sun is never an option. Dog-friendly restaurants are limited at the best of times, but now dining space is going to become much less dense and you need to think where pup will be if there’s no table available. Are you comfortable with a pet-sitter staying in your hotel room with Fido while you’re out at dinner? Again, reach out to possible pet-care providers as early as possible.
Grooming salons have been able to reopen from 25 May but it’s likely to be a longer wait then ever to get an appointment with your preferred provider – book early! Likewise with vets, doggie daycare, trainers and walkers, new protocols to help keep everyone healthy may mean reduced capacity. Don’t assume there will be plenty of space for Fido, and do your homework. Make sure your pet professional is taking appropriate measures to ensure enhanced cleanliness and doing their part to prevent transmission of Covid-19. Remember that the Cape and Islands is visited by people and their dogs from all over the country, and when the borders open back up, even further afield.
Local pet stores have been offering incredible curb-side service but keep in mind that you may not always be able to find the same supply items you have at home. And while we’d all be lost without the likes of Chewy and Amazon, their delivery times are a little longer these days as they’re encountering supply hiccups like everyone else. Come prepared!
Many of the annual events on the Cape and Islands have already been cancelled this summer but this will always be a place where good weather and the great outdoors can still be enjoyed. Who wouldn’t want to be here? But if you’re bringing Tucker and Cisco, please spend a moment to think about how his summer may be a little different this year too.
This post was written by Als