The government has recognised in the current Covid-19 restrictions that we may still leave the house to exercise our dogs. It is vital we continue to honour the restrictions during dog walking time. We have a duty of care to one-another and the wider public. The dog walking areas are busy and additional measures on top of the normal dog walking etiquette are necessary. Please follow our steps on how to be a responsible dog walker at this time.
If your dog’s recall is not good, keep your dog on a lead in busy areas.
Sometimes our enthusiastic pets would rather say hello to everybody and everything than come back to us. It happens to us all at times and most other walkers will sympathise with the odd recall mishap, but even under normal circumstances a loose and exuberant dog can scare nervous dogs, knock over small children and muddy people’s clothing. In current times it can also lead us to breach social distancing protocols whilst we try to restrain the dog and this is a very serious issue and a public health risk. It is vital your dog is under control so as you can avoid breaching the minimal social distance of 2m. Please be respectful.
Give people at least two meters worth of space at all times.
Sometimes a path or pavement is narrower than 2m. If you see people approaching on a narrow path, move to one side as soon as possible, step off the path to create more distance if required. On a narrow pavement, cross the road if safe to do so. Give others time to gather dogs, get leads on and get out of the way. Be patient, we all need to take extra time to work around one another.
Stay near home
For most of us, walking in beautiful places is part of what we enjoy about owning a dog. We are lucky to have beautiful open spaces on our doorstep so let’s make good use of them. Travelling to remote places, although isolating, puts extra pressure on services like fuel stations and vehicle recovery companies. We all need to work together to reduce our need for services so more workers can stay at home, we can minimise contact between people and slow the spread of infection. All this is necessary so there is a slower input of cases and NHS hospitals can cope. If we walk in treacherous places and sustain injury, that is pressure the NHS could do without. Be wise and stay close to home.
Offer to walk dogs for vulnerable people
If you’re low risk you could help someone who is self-isolating by exercising their dog for them. Not only will this keep them safe but it reduces the number of people out and about…just be sure to honour all social distancing protocols when collecting and dropping-off their dog.Be aware that the virus may survive on dog fur so wash your hands before handling someone else’s dog and then wash them again when you have returned the dog. Don’t touch your face during your walk.
Have clean hands
Wash your hands before your walk so they’re clean for handling gate latches, poo bin lids etc. While out walking you could carry hand sanitiser. Be cautious not to touch your face, then wash your hands again when you get home.
Pick up your dog’s poo
This always applies but, with more people off work, every day is like a weekend; with dog walking areas crowded it’s even more important to clear up your dog’s mess so the walking environment remains pleasant for everyone.