Assistance Dogs of the West (ADW) recently held their annual Courthouse Facility Dog conference. I was honored to be asked to interview veterinarian Dr. Brent Parker for one of the sessions. The information he shared is of value to all working dog handlers, not just those who work with facility dogs.

He discussed what steps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending for working dogs and their handlers during the COVID-19 pandemic. And not only that, he also discussed general emergency preparedness for working dogs and their handlers, so you’ll be ready for any type of unusual situation.

You can now listen in to the recorded interview from the conference, courtesy of ADW. See the link below.

Dr. Parker helps care for Assistance Dogs of the West dogs from his practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a companion animal veterinarian who has owned and operated the Santa Fe Animal Hospital since 2000. His experience with working dogs makes him a great resource and we really appreciate that he took the time to share his expertise.

Here are some of the issues I discussed with Dr. Parker regarding COVID-19:

• What are the latest guidelines from the CDC on working dogs?
• Should your working dog wear a mask?
• How do you keep your dog, as well as their equipment, clean and safe?
• Can the COVID-19 virus spread from people to animals?
• What kinds of symptoms should we look for in our dogs?

We also talked about general emergency preparedness, including what things we should have on hand at all times in order to take care of our dogs during an emergency, whether at home or traveling.

Dr. Parker provided us with some great links for more information about COVID-19,and emergency preparedness for working dog handlers. We created a handout for you with the information. Feel free to download the pdf and share it.

Watch the video of the complete interview with Dr. Parker and Marcie Davis.