Great news! All About My Dog reopened on June 14 in accordance with all safety guidelines. We’ve changed our protocols to accommodate the new standards, but our indoor classes are up and running. We would love to see you! Please check out our offerings and schedule.
While working hard to ensure our facility is safe for staff, students, and dogs, we’ve been thinking about safety in other dog-friendly areas.
Here’s what vets and pet safety experts are saying:
Follow the CDC recommendations for outdoor activities…
- Stay 6 feet away from others; The CDC still recommends social distancing for people outside of family units. This may be difficult to do in a small, enclosed area. If you are committed to going to the dog park, search for larger parks that will allow you to maintain a 6-foot distance from people.
- Avoid crowded recreational areas. Try to go early in the morning or late in the evening when there are fewer people and fewer dogs.
- Bring hand sanitizer. Take precautions touching shared surfaces like gate handles, tables, bowls, community toys, and water faucets. Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands after touching any surfaces and before getting back into your car.
- Wear face coverings in public. While pets do not have to wear facial coverings, the CDC recommends that people wear masks where social distancing is difficult.
- Do not allow pets to interact with other people or animals outside your household.
- If you feel ill or have recently come into contact with anyone who is ill, stay home. Never, we repeat NEVER, go to the dog park (or any other public place) if you are ill.
Here are some additional common sense safety tips:
When you venture back out to the parks and trails…
- Bring your own water containers, so both you and your dog can avoid sharing germs via public water fountains or bowls. Shared water sources can harbor dangerous germs, bacteria, and parasites.
- Bring your own toys. Avoid sharing toys. Sharing toys can spread dangerous germs, bacteria, and parasites.
- Avoid touching other people’s dogs, toys, and leashes.
- Start with easy walks and short runs to improve conditioning. Look for local parks with easier hiking trails. Then, when your dog’s endurance (and yours!) is built back up, return to usual fun activities with your pup.
- Ditch the flexi/extender leashes! Not only can they break and lead to pet injuries, not only do they allow dogs to get too close to other dogs, but they frustrate your dog! (Read our post On the Leash: 10 Tips To Keeping Your Dog Calm to learn why.)
- Instead, invest in a good, easy-to-clean, hygienic, biothane leash, 6-foot long for crowded recreational areas, 10-foot to 15-foot or longer, depending on how much space there is between your dog and other dogs. Do make walks physically and mentally interesting to your dog. (Read our post: Natural Rhythms and Relaxation.)
- As always, stock up on poop bags so you can clean up after your dog. Pick up any solid waste immediately and dispose of it properly.
- Start small – after long months of little socialization, reintroduce socialization during small playdates with trusted doggy friends. Gentle reminders about manners go a long way to creating an enjoyable experience. Jumping right back into a dog park or chaotic interaction can lead to overexcitement and antisocial behavior. Vets warn about injuries caused by fighting or overzealous play as well as health issues spread by unfamiliar and unprotected dogs.
- Keep a towel or sheet in your car to protect your car from dirt or mud when your dog hops in after being at the park.
- ALWAYS give your dog a good bath, or at minimum, a full wipe-down with waterless shampoo after returning from the park.
- Update expired vaccines and reintroduce preventative measures against heartworm, fleas, and ticks into your usual routine. Due to COVID-19, many wellness visits are on the back burner. Make sure your dog is protected against preventable diseases before you venture out on the trail.
Here are some safe alternatives:
Research large parks with hiking trails in your area, and head out with your dog for an adventure.
Go for a socially distanced (masked) walk with your friend and their dog so you can all get some exercise.