Dog walking is an essential and loved pastime for dog owners, and the pandemic saw an increase in dog walking as more people spent time at home. This was hugely beneficial for older adults as a study found that it alleviated the loneliness associated with COVID-19. While many restrictions around COVID-19 have been lifted, cases are still rising across the country. This means that dog walkers should still be taking the following precautions to protect themselves and their pets.

Watch out for canine COVID-19 symptoms

It’s important to know that COVID-19 transmissions don’t just happen between humans. Dogs can also be infected with the virus and pass it on to other canines and it is up to owners to be vigilant. This is why it is important to know the symptoms of COVID-19 in dogs to avoid taking your pet out and potentially infecting other dogs. The CDC notes that common symptoms include lethargy, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, eye discharge, and a fever. Should you notice these telltale signs you must immediately get in contact with a vet and isolate your dog. And while transmission from animal to human is rare it can happen, so also monitor yourself for symptoms.

Avoid crowded areas to protect the vulnerable

Close contact with other people and pets is how the virus is spread, so you should also avoid crowded locations when dog walking. This is especially true in areas frequented by senior citizens as they are the most vulnerable to the virus. AskMoney claims that many retirees walk dogs as a part-time job as well as to exercise and get out of the house. Senior dog walkers are also more likely to stick to certain routes, which can get crowded if in busy urban areas or parks. When walking your dog be mindful of this and avoid these areas even if you don’t feel any symptoms. Even though society is moving on from the virus it still pays to be courteous when out.

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Wash your dog regularly and sanitize leashes after walking

It is important that you take the right steps to keep yourself and your pet safe once you’re back home with your pets. Texas A&M University explains how the chance of transmission can be lessened by regularly washing their coat with gentle soap. You should also regularly disinfect their leashes and harnesses after a walk that involved close contact with other dogs to be on the safe side. As an owner you must also wash your hands thoroughly after a walk.

Dog walking in a COVID-19 world should always be done with the above precautions. These tips will ensure that both you and your pet will stay happy and healthy, and you will also be doing your part in reducing the spread of the virus. For more information on how to ensure your dog is healthy do read our ‘2022 Pet Health Checklist’. If your dog does need medical treatment, consider partnering with established communities like Eusoh. We will help you receive pet care reimbursements, making caring for your dogs less financially demanding and more accessible.

Article written by Rose Jensen exclusively for Eusoh