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The Walking Dread: Walking Dogs During a Pandemic

Covid-19 Virus

As many of you know, we’re having a pandemic. Sounds a bit scary, and for good reason; it’s highly contagious and can be fatal.

So, what is the best way to walk a dog during the Covid-19 pandemic? Well, we’re not entirely certain, but here are some suggestions.

  1. Walking Your Own Dog

Walk in spaces that are large, open, and have the maximum room to move around in without bumping into other people or dogs. The Centers for Disease Control ( recommends humans maintain a physical distance of 6 feet on all sides. Most dog owners tend to do this anyway to keep their dogs safe from unfriendly dogs or people. Use this practice now to keep yourself safe from an unfriendly virus!

It may be trickier in the city, so you might want/need to wear a mask and/or gloves.

Resist the urge to mingle with other people and their dogs. Wave and smile from 6 feet away. We can be friendly and social without touching

Avoid public places like dog parks or shopping centers.

2. Walking someone else’s dog

Practice the same precautions. So far there is no confirmation of viral transmission between humans and dogs, but the virus can live on steel and plastic for up to 72 hours.

There is nothing wrong with wearing a simple mask and/or rubber gloves if you have them. Do not touch your face (with or without gloves on) before washing your hands first. The virus is easily spread by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Before walking:

  • Sanitize your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water (wash for 20 seconds). Don gloves afterwards if you have them.
  • Clean all dog toys, collars, leashes, or any other items you will carry on the walk, especially if they are plastic or metal.
  • Sanitize your hands again with an alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water (wash for 20 seconds).
  • Enjoy your walk.
  • As a service to the dog’s owner, re-sanitize any of their things you touched during the walk before returning the dog.

When you are finished walking:

  • Remove your mask and/or gloves and set them on the ground.
  • Sanitize your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water (wash for 20 seconds).
  • Put the mask and/or gloves inside a doggie bag (without touching the outside, if possible) and close it tightly. (Just imagine it’s poo and you don’t want it on the outside of the bag).
  • Dispose of the bag and its contents in the nearest waste receptacle.
  • Wash your hands again with hand sanitizer or soap and water.

Other precautions:

  • Clean your phone often with an alcohol-based cleaner that is recommended safe to use on your phone.
  • Clean the places you touch on the inside of your car.
  • Cover your entire nose and mouth if you have to cough or sneeze. It is a good idea to also clean your face as soon as possible afterwards, and refrain from touching it until both your face and your hands are clean.
  • If you feel any symptoms, at all, stay home.