Suggested Practices for Retailers During COVID-19


Every day, pet businesses throughout Canada help enhance the wellbeing of pets and pet families in a variety of ways. It is vital that pet industry businesses are able to continue to safely provide products and services for the care of pets. As the provinces move to designate retail pet stores, services (in some provinces) and the supply chain as an essential service there has been much discussion between our team and members about the health of staff and customers and what protocol to follow in order to keep everyone safe. Our staff, working in conjunction with members has developed a “Suggested Practices for Retailers During COVID-19 ” which you will find below. The suggestions are not just specific to retailers but many can apply to different work environments.

On a separate note, we have also included a link to an OIE article about COVID-19 and companion animals.  We offer this link to help you answer any questions your customers may have about their pets and the virus.
OIE -(Source: World Association for Animal Health)What do we know about COVID-19 virus and companion animals?

Suggested Practices:

  • If possible, take any requests by telephone, text or email or at the door of your retail establishment (ex: one staff taking orders at the door)
  • If possible, facilitate a contact-less drop-off, delivery, drive-thru or limit the number of customers at a time in the store to buy their essential items (specify that no leisurely visits are accepted at the moment)
  • If possible, block off the store except for the counter-cash area
  • If possible, disinfect the counter area (including cash register and pin pad) and entrance area (including exterior and interior door handle) after every customer (or have staff hold the door for every customer in and out)
  • If needed, modify store hours for staff and customers and the number of staff working in the store
  • Have appropriate signage on the door according to health official requirements in your province as well as new store guidelines for customers (ex: keep an appropriate distance between people, avoid touching your face, only essential purchases allowed, disinfection protocol clearly indicated for customers, etc)
  • Have signage in-store for staff and customers (social distancing requirements for staff, any appliances used by staff must be disinfected after each use, such as microwave, refrigerators, etc)
  • Encourage staff to change clothing when they get home and wash their uniform or clothing before the next day, as well as shower to decrease the risk
  • If possible, only use cashless transactions (ex: visa, debit or e-transfers)
  • If possible, have single-use gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and washing station available for your staff
  • If applicable, update your social media regularly to keep your customers informed as to any changes in your business practices
  • Staff must self-isolate at first signs of illness and staff who choose to self-isolate can do so without the fear of losing their job

Examples of Disinfection Protocol:

Disinfecting product Usage Frequency (minimum)
Xtreme Cleaner from Loona or Vikron (bottle dilution pink liquid) Doors (handles and above handles)

Counters, cash register, credit machine, baskets, carts

Work desks, keyboards

4 x a day  if multiple people are in store, 2 x a day for others

Every 15 min for high traffic stores or after each customer, 30 min for others

2-3 x a day for high traffic or 1 x a day for one person use

Xtreme Cleaner (important on a wet paper towel and not directly on the machine) Cash register keyboard

Credit machines

Multiple times a day (ideally every 15-30 min)

After every customer if possible

Sol-u-guard from Melaleuca (diluted 2x) Worktable with animal or food contact

Tactile screens

Important to disinfect the table before and after the task
Alcool pump in gel or mousse format Staff hands

Customer hands

After each handling of animals and items and regularly throughout the day

Available at the entrance of the store, at the cash register and other areas in store

Review this article from the Retail Council of Canada for guidance on how to identify disinfectants approved by Health Canada
Best practices for retail stores during COVID-19 – Retail Council of Canada

We cannot say enough about how proud we are of everyone in our industry who is working during this difficult time to help keep pets properly cared for across the country.  As you keep up the great work, please stay safe, stay healthy and remember we are here to support your efforts.