Dog Walking During Coronavirus: Can I Walk My Dog And Stroke Other People’s Dogs?
16 April 2020, 16:44
If you’re unsure of the rules around walking your dog, or other people's, during the coronavirus pandemic, here are some tips.
The UK went into lockdown on 23 March, urging everyone to work from home where possible and to avoid leaving the house unless absolutely necessary such as shopping for groceries, or for one hour of exercise per day.
Ever since, there have been a lot of question as to what counts as ‘essential travel’ such as whether children can go between their separate parents’ houses, and who actually counts as a ‘key worker’.
Some also have queries about walking their pets during the ongoing situation, and whether it is safe to let others stroke your dog because, as we know, taking the dog for a stroll is great exercise for both you and your pooch's mental and physical health.
Can I walk my dog during the coronavirus pandemic?
Walking your dog counts as part of the government recommended one hour of outdoor exercise, so if you are healthy and are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 it is perfectly safe to be walking your dog during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as you keep two metres from others.
If you don’t have a garden, it’s advised you stay near your home when taking your dog out for additional comfort breaks, ensuring you keep your distance from other people.
Of course, as soon as you return home you must wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds.
If you’re planning to let your dog off the lead, Dogs Trust advise trying to avoid situations where your dog may approach other people or their dogs, which means walking with them on the lead in green spaces where people are likely to be.
Can I stroke other people’s dogs?
RSPCA explain although there isn’t any evidence proving pets can spread the disease, they advise avoiding contact with other people’s pets as the virus could be passed from person to person via their dog collar or fur.
Can I walk someone else’s dog during the coronavirus pandemic?
If you’re helping out a friend or neighbour who is unable to walk their own dog, RSPCA advise developing guidelines to stick to, including the time and duration of the walk.
They recommend not walking dogs from different households at the same time, wearing gloves for the duration of any contact (disposing of them after use), and using a different lead to the owner’s.
The charity also advise not to use your phone during the walk and to minimise touching the dog.
For their complete list of advice, take a look here.