Updated: Oct 14, 2020
The government has ordered you to stay indoors in order to flatten the curve. This sounds well and good, but how much of that does your pet understand? If you have a backyard, it’s relatively easy to let your furry companion roam, but what if you’re in the middle of a dense metropolitan area without access to an outdoor sanctuary? Well, here’s the official notice: yes, you can take your dog out for a walk.
We have created a little guide so that you can safely walk your dog during this time.
1. If you are sick or you suspect you may have coronavirus, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends you isolate yourself from your family members--this includes your pets. Although you may have the urge to seek comfort from your pet, please restrain yourself during this time. There is currently no evidence that pets can catch COVID-19, but they can carry the virus on their fur and pass it on to others.
2. Please wash your hands before and after you walk your dog. If you are one of the lucky few who managed to snag a bottle of hand sanitizer, it may be wise to bring it along during your walk.
3. Obey any mandated curfews your county/parish/district or country may have. Walk your dog during open hours. This may mean adjusting your dog’s walking schedule.
4. The American Kennel Club recommends staying away from dog parks or dog runs. Surfaces there can be breeding grounds for germs. These areas may be crowded and put you at risk of catching coronavirus. Consider walking your dog a couple times around your block or walking them on a route that is not heavily- trafficked. If it is absolutely essential in your dog’s routine and there is no other way to maintain both of your sanity’s, visit the park during off-peak hours. Do not allow your dog to meet with any unknown dog.
5. Play! Play is so important for your pet, especially during this time. If you have access to a fenced-in backyard, outdoor play is encouraged. Just be sure to wash hands before and after each play session and wipe down your pet’s paws before they come inside. (American Kennel Club)
6. Make sure to keep at least a 6 foot radius from other folks while walking your dog. The virus is spread through folks who are in close contact with one another. (CDC)