The past couple of months have really been eye-opening for everyone around the world. The coronavirus has spread everywhere amazingly fast, and because of this, our daily lives have changed dramatically. Many people are not going to work right now, and we have been forced to stay inside. While there are many negatives associated with this drastic change in lifestyle, there are some positives as well. If you own a dog, your pet is likely much happier having you at home with them more than ever.
During this time, it is essential to stay informed. However, it is also necessary to take care of your mental and physical health as well as the health of your dogs. A healthy immune system is a priority for everyone, and some of the best ways to attain this are by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and for the time being, maintaining social distance. You may be wondering where you can walk your dog and still maintain social distancing. The good news is that no matter where you live, there are still places where you can safely take your dog for a walk each day.
Here are a few things that you can do to practice proper social distancing while you are out walking your dog.
Crossing the Street
When you are out walking your dog, chances are that you will naturally move away from other people who are doing the same. It is natural to get out of the way when another dog owner is coming your way. Of course, this depends on the nature of your dog. Some dogs are curious and want to be friends with all of the other dogs that they meet. Additionally, if you see someone out walking without a dog, it might be natural for the other person to ask to pet your dog. Unfortunately, extra love from other humans is just not safe right now.
When you are out walking your dog, and you see someone approaching, you should cross the street to the other side if it is safe to do so. If you cannot cross the road, you should move out of the way of the other person and let them pass. Investing in a short leash for your dog is recommended as you want to keep your dog as close to you as possible during this time.
During this time, staying at least six feet away from others is one of the best ways that you can show respect to each other. This is the official guideline from the CDC. You can learn more about CDC guidelines here.
Currently, there is no evidence that pets can spread the coronavirus or even get sick from the virus. However, during this time, it is best to not allow others to pet your dog, and you should also not pet other people’s dogs while you are out. This is very sad for those dog lovers out there, but at the time, this is the best way to keep ourselves protected. Dogs need to be practicing social distancing at this time as well.
Keeping it Clean
Walking a dog can be a bit dirty. After all, we are required to clean up after our dogs when they poop because we are responsible pet parents. Cleaning up poop is not a great thing to have to do, but it can be even more difficult during these times. After all, you will have to stop in a place where there might be others around to clean up your dog’s business. To keep you and your dog safe, make sure that you are practicing good hygiene while you are out walking your dog. Bring gloves along with the plastic bag to pick up the poop. Wearing gloves while you are out can help protect your hands until you can wash them with soap and water.
Also, there are a few other ways to keep yourself safe while you are out walking your dog in your community. Use your elbow to cough and sneeze into, even when you are outside walking your dog and maintaining social distance. You can bring a tissue to use, but make sure that you throw the tissue away as soon as possible. You should never use your bare hands for coughing or sneezing. Additionally, you should make sure that you avoid touching your face with your hands the entire time that you are out walking your dog.
You should wash your hands right before you leave for your walks with your dog and then immediately when you return home. Washing your hands is the absolute best way to prevent the spread of this virus. Make sure that you are washing with soap and water and that you scrub in between your fingers. You should be washing for at least twenty seconds every single time. You can also bring hand sanitizer along with you on your walks to use if you touch any type of surface while you are out. Remember, hand sanitizer should contain at least 60 percent of alcohol to be effective.
Wear a Mask
When this all first started, the CDC did not recommend wearing masks while out in public. The recommendation was to only wear a mask if you were not feeling well so that the caregivers who actually need them would be able to have them. However, as with many recommendations, this has recently changed.
The CDC has now stated that you should be wearing a mask while you are out in public. This includes when you are at a grocery store or any other public place. You might think that a mask is not necessary when you are out walking your dog. Still, if you live in an apartment complex or a mobile home community, there is a good chance that you are going to run into people when you are out walking your dog. Wearing a mask is an excellent way to help protect you and the people that you might meet while you are out on your walk.
One important thing that you should remember is that social distancing does not mean that you have to ignore people while you are out. You can still communicate with others while you are out walking your dog. In fact, walking your dog provides you with a great time to get a bit of socializing in. One of the great things about living in a mobile home community is the neighbors. Chances are that you will know people in your neighborhood, and while you cannot visit with them like you once could, you can still talk to them from a distance. Maintain a six-foot radius while you are out walking your dog, but feel free to ask your neighbors how they are doing.
Other great ways to communicate while you are out walking your dog are really quite simple. Offer a smile and a nod as you pass another person. Let them know that you see and acknowledge them. In these times of uncertainty, a bit of positivity can go a really long way. Even giving someone a wave or a thumbs-up can brighten their day.
Overall, taking your dog out for a walk is a great way to get some exercise and a bit of socialness, even if it has to be from a distance at this time.