Walking your dog whilst COVID-19 restrictions are in place

    Coronavirus is the main thing that everyone is talking about throughout the world .One of the things that we have been asked about recently is whether it is ok to walk your dog at the moment , so we decided to take a good look at the information available and put together some pointers. Information changes daily at the moment so obviously it is important to keep checking regularly , but the overall message will be similar.

    It’s been a time of massive upheaval, after the outbreak of coronavirus has seen swathes of the population self isolating, social distancing, and – annoyingly – panic buying. While this is strange enough for us humans, for dogs it’s even more confusing. We can’t exactly let them know why we’re working from home or changing our routines. One thing you may be wondering is whether you’re still allowed to take them on their daily walks. The answer isn’t clear cut – especially given that the information we’re being given is changing by the hour. But deciding what to do is based on whether you’re showing symptoms or not. 

    There are two main types of things to think about at the moment so that we can all do our bit to help stop the spread of this Coronavirus pandemic .

     SOCIAL DISTANCING :

    Social distancing means avoiding unnecessary contact with other people.

    It means spending less time in public places, where a lot of people are around. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

    Dogs find this absolutely impossible but we humans need to take this important step :-)

     SELF ISOLATION :

    Self-isolating means staying at home and not leaving it, other than for exercise. Don't go to work, school or public areas during this time.  If you have no symptoms of coronavirus, haven’t been to any of the most heavily-affected countries recently, you don’t live with someone who’s showing symptoms and haven’t been in contact with anyone who’s been diagnosed, you are currently not under instruction to self isolate.

    If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials. If you are unable to get supplies delivered, you should do what you can to limit social contact when you do leave the house.

    You can read more about the differences between social distancing and self isolation here 

    If you haven't tested positive or been asked to self-isolate then continue to interact with your pets as normal but adopt good hygiene practices including washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching them, their food, toys and bedding. This is good advice at any time and not specific to the Coronavirus situation .

    Ensure you have supplies of pet food and medication in case of self-isolation. 

    Speak to your vet or doctor for more advice. If you are social distancing then Government advice states that you can go for a walk as long as you stay two metres away from others.

    You shouldn’t leave your house ideally while self-isolating, so this would include taking your dog for a walk. If you have a private garden then you can take your dog there to go the toilet and to play games. However, a daily walk is really important for dogs’ physical and mental health, so if possible ask a friend or family member to take your dog out for you. You could also book a professional dog walker, but let them know in advance that you are self-isolating. Keep the handover as brief as possible and make sure you both wash your hands before and after handling the dog. Maintain a minimum two metre distance at all times.

     

    If you are going for a walk together , do it in style with our luxury pet accessories Ari is wearing our Hettie dog coat here , and you can read all about it on this wonderful blog by Honey I Dressed the Pug 

     Mental stimulation is a great way to keep your dog entertained and occupied so you can keep your dog happy by replacing exercise with other activities until you are able to take them back out for their usual walks.

     Remember toilet breaks - remember your dog will still need to go outside to use the toilet so make sure they get regular access to the garden to potter, sniff and wee.

    Try challenging your pooch at tea time - ditch the food bowl and feed your pup using a food puzzle to get them thinking.

    Play with your pooch !! Most dogs love to play so set aside some time to have a good game of fetch or tug with them. Chuckit do a great selection of dog toys and our dogs love the frisbee 

    Learning a new trick or command is great mental stimulation for a dog.  Get him sniffing - scent work can be a great way to keep them busy for ages! Hide treats around the garden or around the house and send them off to look for them .

    If your pet needs vet care during this period, call your vet in the first instance. Don’t leave the house to go to your vet if you are self-isolating. Your vet may be able to arrange for someone else to bring your pet in for an appointment if needed.

    Matt Hancock  - Secretary of State for health recently said: "People should go outside. Yes, walk your pets, but, if you’re in household isolation, do go outside but try to avoid other people.’ If you are experiencing symptoms and live alone, you should self-isolate for seven days. If you live with other people, the whole household will need to isolate for 14 days. Isolation means not leaving your home for any reason, or even opening the door to receive a delivery directly. So, no walks. "

     

     * We have obtained all of the above information from various reference sources but as it is changing all of the time we recommend that people research carefully before following any advice . *

    Useful links :

    NHS

    Metro 

    PSDA

    WSAVA


     

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