Dogs like routine; and they probably need to go out, more than once a day, to do their business, so to speak. Given the rules for self-isolation, exercising outside, once a day, for example, is allowed. What can us dog walkers do with these restrictions?
Well here we have our top five dog walking tips while in quarantine. We hope they will help you and your dog.
Translation: take me for a walk!
We are allowed to go out once a day at the moment for exercise and fresh air, presumably. You can also go outside to buy essential shopping. Our dog walking top tips, therefore, work within these limitations.
An important aspect to our dog walking, or going outside for exercise, is the requirement to not drive to a location, but to keep local. The thought here is that if you drive, you may need to stop to buy petrol, etc., offering more contact opportunities, so it makes sense.
Keep local, therefore, within walking distance, for now. Taking all this into account we offer our five top tips for walking the dog.
Beauty spots - we hope to return to them one day
1. Take your dog shopping
You are allowed out to buy essential supplies. Why not then support your local businesses and walk your dog there. Food shops, however, don't normally let your dog inside. Hence, you may be tempted to hitch your dog up outside while you do your shopping. This is not advised. Sadly, dogs have been snatched in these scenarios. A dreadful crime that even in these worrying times, when I feel we are more united as a community against what we all face, I suspect this still happens. What to do? You could try and get someone to watch over your dog if you can, or if you are with a household member, take turns to go in the shop.
Alternatively, put your dog in a position so that you can watch your pet through the shop window, and be as quick as you can. We want our pets to be safe - be vigilant.
If you make a routine out of shopping, same time, same place, your dog will get used to waiting for you, and you will meet people who will become familiar to you and your dog. More on this notion later. You may even become friends, at an appropriate isolating distance, of course.
over you dog, you know and trust, if you can
The alternative of putting your dog in a position so that you can watch your pet through the shop window, and be as quick as you can is not a good idea either.
We want our pets to be safe - be vigilant
Even dogs can get to like shopping - in this case Susie will need a new ball
2. Search for empty places
At the back of our beautiful City you can find the Downs. There are many access points for many of us. This is a good place to go to get away from others.
You must, however, be aware of sheep and other livestock. The footpaths and bridleways abut or go through farmland. Care must be taken with your dog. Nevertheless, you can find wide open spaces where you can both have a good run. The views back to the sea and surrounding countryside is also a spectacular bonus.
The parks in the city are also a useful spaces, but try and find a corner that is quiet. Dogs will naturally want to play with each other. You will need to be careful with recall; have some treats to hand. This may attract other dogs; just remember to keep your distance from the other dog's owner. This may lead to a convoluted square dance, amusing to watch from a safe distance. While you are entertaining others you are keeping safe. I'm sure practice will make perfect.
The way to the Downs
3. Go Beach combing
Living where we are, many people can get to a beach. As we enter spring, beach restrictions for dogs tend to kick in. Hence, look out for dog friendly beaches. These are often away from the main entrance to a beach area, and therefore, can be less crowded. More space for you and your dog to throw sticks, balls or frisbees, etc.
Calm waters are important - dogs and people have been lost from beaches in rough seas. Keep away if the sea is in any manner like this. I am lucky my dog is a good judge, she wouldn't let us get anywhere near a rough sea. That's intelligence for you.
Find an empty dog friendly beach
4. Watch your schedule
As we have said, dogs love routine, and we humans do too to some extent. I have noticed with my daily routine that following breakfast, I seem to meet the same people as they take their dogs out. If you cross the road and/or keep your isolation distance and it will be fine.
My dog likes to go out at least twice. One can be a shopping trip in the morning and the other a walk in the park, beach, recreational area or even the downs for our spot of exercise. We are spoilt for choice here. The main thing is to find a routine whereby you can safety navigate these places while keeping a social distance from others. If you find a period that's busy, adjust your timing. Certainly, as we continue to live through this lockdown more people seem to be getting the message. Staying in saves lives.
Timing is everything
5. Listen to Dr Feelgood - Walking the dog
For all you younger dog walkers, and for your well-being, I would recommend listening to Dr Feelgood: they will 'show you how to walk the dog.'
If nothing else it reminds us that when this is all over, we can get back to live gigs. Those of you lucky enough to have seen Dr Feelgood live, you were very fortunate indeed.
Take care out there - 'walking the dog'.
PS Toys for some dogs is an important part of their walk - as you can see with Susie.