The coronavirus pandemic has an unmeasurable effect on all our lives. All aspects of our daily routines and plans for the future needed to change somehow, to adapt to this new situation with all the restrictions, threats, and limitations. Being a dog parent has also changed, and for many reasons, it became harder, especially for those who don’t own a garden or even the smallest backyard. You can still provide your furry best friend with their favourite Canidae canned dog food, love them and caress them, but all dogs need their daily walks, and not only because of their physiological needs. With the abundance of information and constant changes, it may be challenging to know what you can and can’t do, what you should and shouldn’t do, so in this article, you will find all the helpful and useful tips on walking your dog during the COVID-19 lockdown.
You can walk your dog on a regular basis
If you don’t show any symptoms of the infection, you feel well, and you haven’t received a letter from the government ordering you to stay home, you can leave your house to exercise, which includes walking your dog. However, you need to remain cautious. It’s better to keep your dog on a lead, especially in the areas with more people around, to avoid situations where they may approach strangers, and you will be forced to do the same. You have to stay 2 metres apart from all people and ask them not to pet your dog.
You can walk your dog wherever and whenever you want, so don’t hesitate to use this opportunity
There aren’t any limitations as to where you can walk your dog, or how often you can do it; it is advised that a person do it once a day, so if your household includes more people, it’s best to do it in turns.
As long as you keep your distance from other people, you can spend hours exploring sites with your Fido, which we strongly recommend. It’s a challenging situation for your dog as well as for you, especially that animals don’t understand the world as profoundly as we do. You may not realize that your dog is more tense or upset, but they can feel what you’re feeling, and they certainly notice changes in your routine.
You may consider longer walks with your furry friend. If you have a possibility to explore new routes, you should allow your dog to discover new smells and sights. There aren’t any limitations in the UK when it comes to travelling to open spaces, so if you have a car, you can drive your dog to a nice place. However, take into consideration that spring (with almost summer weather) is here, so there will probably be more people everywhere; keep your distance. Plus, as the temperature gets higher, remember to keep your dog hydrated at all times.
Make it fun
As dogs don’t understand changes, they can easily get frustrated by the whole situation. That’s why it’s crucial to discover new routes, offer something fresh to your Fido, and try to make it all more fun. Don’t merely go for a walk, but use toys, carry treats, play with your dog to make sure your furry friend stays entertained and happy.
What if your dog isn’t used to walking on a lead?
You can let your dog run freely only if you’re absolutely sure there aren’t any people in the area, so probably only in your own garden. In other cases, it’s best to keep your dog on a lead. If you’re both not accustomed to this, it is the best time to change it. Introduce the habit of wearing a loose lead by using positive rewards, e.g. treats.
Don’t pet other dogs
While experts say that humans can’t contract the coronavirus from dogs, it is not advisable to pet other people’s pets. It may not be possible for them to contract and spread the disease as humans do, but they can temporarily carry germs, just like your phone and other items. So you probably should keep yourself away from other dogs and ask people not to touch yours.
Can someone accompany you while you’re walking your dog?
As of today, if you live in the same household, you can walk your dog together. If you want to walk your dog with a person you don’t live with, you can do it as long as there’s only two of you, and you stay 2 metres apart at all times.
What if you’re unwell?
If you’re feeling unwell, even if it’s not the coronavirus, you should arrange for someone to take care of your dog while staying 2 metres apart, of course. It’s essential that your dog stays in their routine and does their daily exercise. It’s also possible to walk your dog once a day if you’re self-isolating, but then, you need to avoid the more popular dog walking sites, and keep your dog on a lead at all times. In this case, it’s even more important to keep your dog happy by organizing their time indoors.
Protect yourself and a person who walks your dog
If you’re unwell or busy and arrange for someone else to walk your dog, make sure you do everything possible to keep everyone safe. It may be a good idea to prepare a whole separate set of walking essentials for the other person to keep, e.g., another lead, separate toys, different pack of poo bags. Make sure you wash your hands after dealing with your dog walker, while also maintaining the required 2 metres distance. It all also applies if you are the dog walker for another person, of course.