How to walk a dog during lockdown

Author picture Jessica

How to walk a dog during lockdown

Both you and your dog still need to exercise during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, and are still allowed to do so as long as you follow the rules and plan ahead.

If you are healthy and stay within your neighbourhood, it’s absolutely fine to walk your dog. But if you are unwell or self-isolating, don’t worry: a Pawshake dog walker can help you out.

Here's a quick breakdown of what you must consider when walking your dog during lockdown:

Is it safe to walk my dog during lockdown?

The UK government has made it clear that if you aren't sick or t self-isolating, exercising outside your home is safe during lockdown. Luckily for dog owners and their pooches, this includes walking your dog. 

It’s actually really important for your dog to burn some energy and have fun outside, especially as their normal routine has probably changed quite a bit. Dogs need daily stimulation and exercise to be healthy and happy (as do us humans!). 

If your dog doesn’t get enough daily stimulation, their boredom might lead to less desirable behaviour like chewing, barking and, in turn, making it tough for you to focus on your work from home. One handy tip for those who can’t walk long distances, is to walk more slowly: this allows your dog to wander and sniff the ground as much as they want, which is an enjoyable mental workout.

To be safe, we advise that you walk your dog alone and not with friends. It's best to avoid crowded areas and leave at least 2 metres of space between your dog and other dogs and people. Bring hand sanitiser, gloves and poop bags as you normally would, and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water when you get home.

Can my dog get coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Although there have been some examples of domestic pets contracting coronavirus, this is extremely rare and has yet to be well studied. 

According to the World Health Organisation, there is as yet no evidence that the disease can find it’s way from pets to humans. This is still being closely monitored, and we will update this article if further news comes through (last update 19 April 2020)

It’s wise to be cautious, so walk your dog at times and locations where there are less people out and about. And don’t feel bad if you need to politely ask other walkers not to pat or play with your dog.

How can I walk my dog if I’m sick or self-isolating?

If you are unwell or are self-isolating, do not walk your dog. You absolutely must stay at home for your own safety and the safety of the community.

Don’t worry though: you can still arrange a dog walker to come and give your dog some excitement and exercise. A little more planning needs to happen beforehand, but it's worth it!

  • If you are looking for a dog walker, visit the Pawshake website and enter your suburb in the search bar with the service ‘dog walking’ selected. 
  • Browse through the profiles near you: some sitters already have a process for contactless pickup.
  • Arrange a meet and greet over the phone or by video call. Ask the dog walker plenty of questions about their experience and answer any questions they may have about your dog. The dog walker may want to bring their own leash, harness and poop bags, so be sure to chat about this.
  • If you are happy with your chosen dog walker, invite them over to meet your dog in person. Stay inside while this happens, or drop your dog with the dog walker.
  • If this meeting goes well, return to their Pawshake profile to make a booking: this is important so your dog has veterinary coverage and you are protected by the Pawshake Guarantee. You can also book non-consecutive days if this is more convenient for you.
  • When picking up and dropping off, keep a physical distance and don’t hang around to chat. Save this for the phone later.
  • Always wash your hands very thoroughly after patting and playing with your dog or any surfaces, such as gates or door handles.

Here is some extra information about safe pet sitting during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Do you need help with extra tasks, like picking up more dog food or posting a parcel? Have a chat with your dog walker, as they will probably be more than happy to give you an extra helping hand during the lockdown. We are also here to assist at any time, don’t hesitate to reach out

Find a dog walker in your local area.