The current pandemic has led governments around the world to take extraordinary containment measures that also affect pets. In the case of dogs, their walks have been impacted.
Even though current evidence tells us that they cannot contract or transmit Covid-19, it is still best to follow basic hygiene rules. In this article, we will explain how to clean your dog’s paws after a walk in quarantine.
Can I walk my dog during a lockdown?
Given the current situation, it is normal for guardians to have doubts about how to clean their dog’s paws after a walk in quarantine. There are also many questions about confinement and its effects on dogs.
Generally speaking, in France, the need for a dog to be able to walk has been respected and it is possible to walk him at least several times a day so that he can relieve himself. Also, veterinarians have not closed because they are considered essential services. To make an appointment with the veterinarian, you will need to call beforehand to arrange an appointment time, this allows the veterinary clinics to regulate the flow of patients they receive in the clinic.
If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to call and they will explain how to proceed. As recommendations may vary over time and according to the evolution of the pandemic or even differ by country, we always recommend that you consult official and up-to-date information sources in your country of residence.
How do you walk your dog during confinement?
Walking your dog during confinement will not be the same as before. It is not possible to let them run around freely, to let them interact with each other or with other people. Therefore, outings to walk your dog should be limited to a few minutes, just enough time for them to relieve themselves. The distance covered should be limited to the area around your home and public areas such as beaches, the countryside, gardens, or parks should not be accessible.
You must always keep your dog tied up. You can, however, use a long leash to give your dog as much freedom of movement as possible. Of course, even if you live with the dog in a group, only one of you will be able to go out with the dog, and it is recommended that you make sure that it is always the same person. It is also recommended that the walk be carried out at less busy times to minimize the risk of contact. As before confinement, it is obligatory to go out with plastic bags to collect the dog’s feces. In some cities, it is also mandatory to bring a small bottle of water to clean up the remains of urine.
Remember that not following the standards dictated by the authorities in your country, city, or region may result in a fine. Once the walk is over, in the next box of our article Cleaning your dog’s paws after a walk during confinement we will explain how to clean your dog’s paws when returning from a walk during confinement.
How do I disinfect my dog’s paws during confinement?
As stated, there is currently no evidence that dogs can play a role in the transmission of Covid-19 disease. There is also no evidence that they can contract the new SARS-Cov-2 virus or infect their fellow dogs. However, to avoid any risk, veterinary authorities have explained how to clean the paws after a walk during confinement.
You are lucky because it’s super easy to do! You just need to wipe his paws and muzzle with a wipe. You can also use water and dog shampoo that you usually use. Under no circumstances should you use irritating products such as alcohol on your dog, let alone bleach, even if you dilute it.
Other hygiene measures after the walk
After taking your dog out, you should also wash your hands properly. This hygienic routine, performed with soap and water and following the health recommendations, should be done both after and before walking. As soon as you touch a dog, it is recommended that you wash your hands. Similarly, the dog’s objects should be cleaned frequently.
Can I walk my dog if I have coronavirus?
The answer is no, if you have the coronavirus and you are quarantined, you will not be able to walk your dog. People who test positive for coronavirus, who may or may not have symptoms, must remain in quarantine to avoid infecting other people. Therefore, people who have not been tested but who have symptoms of CoV-2-SARS should also remain in quarantine. Ideally, these people should be isolated from other family members and pets within the household. Another person should be responsible for walking the dog, carefully following the recommendations of the health authorities, and cleaning the dog’s paws after walking during containment, as explained in the previous box.
The problem is that many guardians live alone, so they will have to give their dog to a third person or ask their neighbors to look after the dog. Alternatively, you can leave your dog with a kennel or association that will take care of it while you are unable to care for it.