With the necessity to work-from-home, the closure of most stores and restaurants, and other significant lifestyle changes, there’s no doubt your daily routine has been disrupted due to COVID-19. Despite some stay-at-home orders and the requirement of social-distancing, you and your pup still need to get physical and mental exercise.
As a dog-owner, it’s important to give your dog room to run while adhering to recommended regulations. Read on for our best tips on how to run with your dog and stay safe during a pandemic.
Pandemic and Exercise
For both humans and dogs, it’s important to get your legs moving and heart pumping daily—even during a pandemic. In fact, if you don’t go outside to stretch your legs and get some fresh air, the furthest you’ll likely walk in a day is from your bedroom to the kitchen. Not good!
This is even harder for your furry running partner, especially if you don’t have a large yard for him or her to run around in. This results in pent-up energy (potentially at the expense of your favorite pair of running shoes)!
The Importance of Routine
While long days inside might leave you lacking the motivation to hit the trail, keeping a routine is essential to maintaining you and your dog’s health. Bear in mind, however, that your routine may have to be adapted to fit the “new normal.”
For example, it may be necessary to change your walking schedule to avoid encountering other dogs and people. This might mean walking earlier in the morning or later at night. In addition, it’s best to stick closer to home instead of checking out different neighborhoods or busy hiking trails.
Social Distancing and Exercise
How can you safely exercise with your pupper while maintaining the rules of social-distancing? It’s possible — but with added safety measures.
If you test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus in any way, have another household member take over dog-walking duties. Otherwise, consider wearing a mask when walking your dog to risk exposure to you or someone else.
When out and about, social-distancing rules still apply in most parts of the world. This means walking your dog on a leash and maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals. It also means making sure your pet doesn’t interact with people or other animals outside the household. Unfortunately, now is probably not the best time to go to a dog park.
Running and COVID-19: How to Do it Safely
In addition to some of the recommendations mentioned above, here are some more ideas on how to run, hike, or walk safely with your dog during the pandemic:
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
In normal circumstances, walking your dog is a great time to listen to your favorite music or catch up on a podcast or audiobook. For some, it’s a good opportune time to call a family member or friend (assuming your hands-free of course).
With everything going on now, it’s best to limit distractions and give your undivided attention to your dog and your surroundings. Keeping the recommended 6-foot distance is essential to protect yourself and others. It’s important to be alert and aware of what’s going on around you so that you can move aside, and make space, to allow other dog-walkers, cyclists, or people to safely pass, if necessary.
As dog-owners, we have a big responsibility to be educated and aware in order to guide our dogs through this pandemic as safely as possible.
Keep Your Dog on a Leash
Keeping your dog on a leash is vital for maintaining the 6-foot distance from other people and pets. We recommend the Runner's Choice Hands-Free Dog Leash. Designed to protect you from abrupt changes in direction or unexpected lunges or pulls, this hands-free running leash is an excellent choice for allowing you to run safely with your pup.
Another recommended option is the SideKick Hands-Free Dog Leash, perfect for owners who love running side by side with their dog. Light and durable, it has a minimum breaking strength of 132 lb.
In a time when maintaining distance from others is more important than ever, the Runner’s Choice or SideKick’s unique bungee system gives you that extra bit of control when your dog might be getting distracted by people or other dogs.