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PIJAC, PIDA partner on zoonotic disease prevention resource

Pet Store Pro strives to educate pet store retailers on hygiene practices to reduce the transmission of germs and bacteria between animals and humans

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Two animal care industry groups have added to a free online resource that aims to reduce the spread of zoonotic diseases by improving hygiene practices at pet stores.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) previewed a new chapter of “Pet Store Pro Zoonotic Disease Prevention” during the recent SuperZoo industry trade show in Las Vegas.

The enhanced information details best practices for pet store employees relating to hygiene and handling to reduce the transmission of germs and bacteria between animals and humans. The resource includes cleaning guidelines, hand-washing protocols, and specific cautions for staff and/or customers with existing health conditions.

The chapter also outlines recommendations for sanitizing enclosures and handling animals, along with their food, bedding, and waste.

“The… community’s role as partners in pet care together with companion animals and their loving owners means we also have a responsibility to do everything we can to deter the spread of zoonotic diseases,” says PIJAC CEO, Mike Bober. “This new Pet Store Pro Zoonotic Disease Prevention chapter further demonstrates PIJAC, PIDA, and the responsible pet care community’s commitment to taking proactive steps to protect human and animal health and helping foster lifelong relationships between people and their pets.”

The Pet Store Pro resource assists store associates in the identification and explanation of human symptoms, as well as clinical signs of specific diseases that may occur in dogs, cats, rodents, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. It also explains how to respond to and report suspected zoonotic disease, both in animals and humans.

“It is essential a retail pet store’s employee training program include best practices to maintain their own health and safety, and those of the pets they care for,” says PIDA president, Celeste Powers, CAE. “This new Zoonotic Disease Prevention chapter is a welcome addition to the Pet Store Pro training suite that helps independent retailers be conscientious pet caretakers, as well as run successful, profitable businesses that provide exemplary customer service.”

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