Here we are in 2021 and we're still battling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which means we have to adapt. A lot of rules have changed. Close contact is now regulated in the United States at the advisory of the CDC to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at least until the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed.
Right now though, it's undetermined when the vaccine will be distributed and injected on a wider scale. Until then, we've got to make do with socially distanced physical activity and dog walks as it's top priority for pup health.
Here are some tips we have for walking dogs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tip #1: Give your dog the same boundaries that you do.
When it comes to the transmission of COVID-19 among animals and pets, the details that were once clear are continuously blurred with newer updates.
According to VCA Hospitals, "There are many different coronaviruses, which can cause a wide variety of diseases. There are four coronaviruses that are a part of the suite of viruses that cause "the common cold" in humans. In young puppies, canine coronavirus can cause diarrhea. Although all coronaviruses are related, they are not all the same virus. For example, SARS-CoV-2 cannot cause canine coronavirus infection, and vice versa."
Back in November of 2020, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported that there is no conclusive evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to humans or vice versa. There's also a lack of clarity on if COVID-19 can be spread from pet to pet.
Until these questions are confidently answered, we advise to not be in close proximity to people who are not members of your household, but should you have any socially distanced visits, ask friends and family members to wear a mask around your dog to prevent one of the various coronavirus types from afflicting your dog.
Tip #2: Always have a mask on you.
Even when you think you're not going to run into anyone and even when you think you're distanced enough, always have a mask on you so that you can quickly put it on should things happen unexpectedly. For example, you could be walking on a hidden gem of a trail here in the United States, turn the corner and suddenly you're facing a family walking their own dogs. Mask up!
And in case you missed it, we released face masks in select designs that match Joyride Harnesses!
Tip #3: Follow the CDC's recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adhering to the following rules:
- Keep your dog on a leash on dog walks.
- Maintain at least 6 feet of distance apart from other people and dogs.
- Restrict your dog's contact with other dogs and people who are not part of the household.
Tip #4: Pick a new "spot".
If you don't have a frontyard or backyard or the means to consider yard fencing, pick a new, secluded spot for you and your dog to run around and play at. Not only will you and your dog get the physical activity needed aside from dog walks, but you're well in regulation of the physical distancing that's been called for and not aiding the spread of COVID-19.
Tip #5: Come up with a backup plan.
If you are feeling symptoms, contracted COVID-19, and/or under quarantine, have a backup plan for your dog. Here are some suggestions:
- We know it's hard, but try not to hug or love on your dog while you have the coronavirus.
- Consider hiring a dog walker (or enlist the help of a spouse, family member, or best friend) for dog walks or pet sitting. Make sure the dog walker steers clear of workplaces, crowds, service areas, etc. for dog walks and playtime. If they already received the vaccine, even better!
Tip #6: Amp up on indoor activities.
Your fur baby has a lot of energy to burn and with the amount of time we've all been indoors because of social distancing and the COVID-19 virus, they're probably feeling the effects. The lack of physical activity means they're not mentally and regularly stimulated which can lead to depression.
Consider making an indoor obstacle course as a fun indoor "dog walk" on a leash and all. There are also countless treat games you can try including toys online. Heck! There are even dog treadmills. Get creative and get to exercising with your fur baby!
Tip #7: Enjoy the time you have with your dog.
You're not just a dog walker. You're a dog owner and your fur baby is loving having this full access to you! Sure, it's on the account of the COVID-19 outbreak, but these precautions you're taking are also opening up more time for you to spend with your pup. So enjoy your daily walks, playtime all in better health with your fur babies!
This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog in this section.