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Social Distancing With Senior Dogs During COVID-19 by Ann-Marie Fleming

30 March, 2020


The current COVID-19 situation has the whole world on edge. That is, except for one group that’s happier than ever to have everyone staying home. Our dogs are benefiting in a big way from social distancing protocols, getting to spend more time with their beloved owners at home every day. But you might be wondering if you can still go outside for walks with your senior dog during these crazy times. Is it safe to visit the dog park or have playdates with doggie friends?

There are still so many unknowns when it comes to COVID-19 and dogs, but the Dog Quality team has done our best to answer all your questions about social distancing with dogs. If you’re enjoying some extra quality time with your pup these days in self-isolation, here’s how to keep you and your furry friend safe and healthy.

The 6-foot Rule Applies to Dogs, Too

Fortunately, dogs are not at risk for contracting coronavirus themselves, but they could still act as a conduit to pass the virus from person to person. As you may have heard, COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for hours to days and that may include your dog. You probably have plenty of strangers asking to pet your pup when you’re out for a stroll, but it’s best to avoid unnecessary contact with anyone outside your household until all this passes.

We know it can be difficult to tell people not to touch your dog, so try explaining that you’re simply trying to keep everyone safe. Tell them that safe social distancing rules, such as staying six feet apart, doesn’t just apply to humans. When out for walks, do your best to keep two metres of space between you and others at all times. It’s the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from harm.

Take a Raincheck on Doggie Dates

We know it can be difficult to adjust to new routines, especially for senior dogs. Your doggo might look forward to their daily trip to the dog park, but just like allowing someone to pet your dog could put you at risk for catching COVID-19, so can letting them play with other dogs. Dog parks can also get very busy, which means you might not be able to keep the requisite six feet between you and other people. Whether at the dog park or one-on-one with a dog friend, this isn’t the time for socializing unless you know for sure that it’s safe.

Experts say we all need to practice social distancing for at least two weeks before we know for sure if we’re virus-free. If you’ve been diligent about staying away from others and can trust that a friend has done the same, then it should be safe for your dogs to get together. At the same time, people can still carry and transmit COVID-19 without even knowing they have it. So it’s best to save the dog park and play dates until we get the all clear.

Support Your Senior Dog’s Needs

As you know, senior dogs have different needs than younger pups, including incontinence or mobility issues. If your senior dog experiences incontinence, it can be especially difficult to adjust to spending more time at home. Our doggie diapers and washable dog incontinence pads are the perfect solution to keep your home clean and your dog comfortable during this time.

Chances are you’re spending a bit more time snuggling with your pup as you work or relax at home. The blanket pad can be placed on your couch or bed so your senior pup can curl up beside you without the risk of a mess. If your dog isn’t as limber as he once was, try our Gentle Rise dog couch ramp to help your pup climb on up with ease.

Enjoy One-on-One Time with Your Senior Dog

With so much information on the news and constant changes rolling out every day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out. It also doesn’t take long to get a little cabin fever when you’re stuck at home for weeks on end. If you have a pup at home, count your blessings that you’ve got a furry friend to lean on. Dogs are proven to provide emotional support for those suffering from stress and anxiety.

As difficult as these uncertain times can be, let’s all choose to see the positives and enjoy this opportunity to slow down and spend time with our loved ones, including our senior pups. We rarely get the chance to spend days (or weeks!) with our dogs, and you know your dog is loving every minute of it. Get outside, go for walks and enjoy the extra cuddle time while you have it. Before you know it, life will return to normal and we’ll wish we had more time to spend with our dogs.

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