With the pandemic impacting our lives in some way, shape, or form, it’s important that you and your fur baby are getting outside for fresh air and exercise for your health and well-being. Daily walks are an easy way to keep you and your pet healthy, not to mention they are a great stress reliever. Of course, it’s essential to use precautions so that you don’t put yourself at risk of getting sick.
If you have a friendly pet who loves to say hi to everyone, this might be easier said than done. Here are some tips to utilize for you and your pet’s safety when you head outdoors.
Keep Your Distance
As tempting as it might be to connect with friendly faces, it’s important to keep your distance from others when out and about with your pet. Although open spaces are generally deemed safer by the CDC, staying at least six feet away from others is still recommended.
It helps if you plan your route ahead of time, utilize low foot traffic areas, and pay attention to the direction of traffic. It’s easier to keep your distance when everyone is headed in the same direction.
Also, try to walk in areas with wider sidewalks and large shoulders to allow for easier, safer passing.
If you do find yourself coming up to oncoming foot traffic and there’s not enough space for you both to walk by, find a spot that’s far away enough to let the other person through. Make a habit of doing this instead of simply trying to squeeze past them. Crossing the road might be needed in some cases.
Your pet won’t understand the need for distance, so be sure to keep a shorter leash length to avoid unnecessary contact in a public space.
Avoid Crowded Areas
When possible, avoid crowded areas all together. While socializing might be tempting, it’s much harder when you have a pet in tow. The best scenario is to plan your outings to less popular places, routes that allow for same direction traffic, and lots of green space that allow everyone to spread out.
Be Polite But Firm If Others Get Too Close
If you feel like someone is getting too close, make sure you have a plan for how to let them know. It’s easy to be polite and firm at the same time, but you’ll feel even more confident and comfortable if you practice ahead of time. Something simple as, “Oh hey, I’m so sorry, but I’m working on helping Fido practice their social distancing, so I’ve got to stay a bit further away. We’ll catch up next time!” Remember, you are protecting yourself and your pet!
Keep Your Pet Distracted
Even if you’re following all of these tips, it’s still going to be tough to convince your normally friendly and engaging fur baby to keep their distance from others. To make it easier on you, plan for ways to keep your pet distracted from others. Whether you have treats or a special toy, you won’t be sorry that you came prepared.
Getting outside and being active is healthy for you and your pet, but be careful and be sure to follow the official guidance for best safety practices. Hopefully, we’ll be back to normal and socializing the way we used to very soon!