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Exercising our dogs during COVID-19 restrictions.

Thankfully we can still take our dogs for their daily walks.  These walks have taken on a precious intervention in our stay at home routines, especially when we are working from home and when we have children in the house 24/7.  The opportunity to get outside, for a reason, is no longer something we take for granted and our dogs’ role in our own physical and mental wellbeing has certainly been heightened.

During the COVID-19 restrictions we can still take our dogs for their daily walks however we must consider the health of our communities and therefore a few small modifications to our routines can be considered.

Be mindful of meeting other dog walkers when out and about by keeping your distance.  No need to stop for a chat, a small wave is satisfactory whilst maintaining a good 1.5 – 2meters separation. It is a good idea to keep our dogs on the lead during this time.  Keeping them close helps to keep distance from others.  When our dogs do need a run; find a larger park area where your dog can have some time off the lead without becoming involved with other dogs or people.

Taking a few extra clean up bags is a good idea.  When you clean up after your dog, use the extra bag as protection when lifting the bin lid when disposing.  This will help in avoiding contact with the bin surface.  At best carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you if you can.

Maybe change you regular walking path.  Exploring new areas, less populated, in your town or suburb provides new motivations for you and your dog. New smells, new sights and sounds can assist in their mental health by activating their brain and giving them a new environment to explore.

As a regular dog walker, you’ll have a good idea of when most people are out walking.  Think about changing your times.  Discovering a new early morning or later evening routine is not such a bad thing to do.  It will always have its positives when you look for them.

Most importantly when you do return home, ensure you wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds in soap and water.

When we all consider the wellbeing of others, our daily walk can remain and ourselves and our dogs can enjoy the time together.

Have a wonderful Easter; stay safe and keep your distance.

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