Everyone is out walking their dogs. I think that is fabulous!
HOWEVER, I would be a bad clinician if not to remind you to please "scale" those activities.
What do I mean by that?
I've written here on the blog [and spoken in-person to clients & at events] about "Weekend Warrior Syndrome".
Because it's a very realistic (& common) thing with dogs, just as it is with people. Except with dogs... sometimes MORE common.
We work and go to the gym during week and then on the weekends we take our dogs to "dog beach" and run them in the sand for an hour or 2. Or perhaps we're lucky enough to live by a body of water, and we swim them.
This is not the same activity as the morning and or nightly walks they're used to.
I've worked with many dogs that to their caregivers, appeared to have acute hip dysplasia or maybe a CCL injury, when it was a very severe (and painful) muscle strain.
So now with the world resorting to outdoor activities and spending a LOT more time with their pets, everyone is taking their gym workouts outdoors.
For a pet that is not used to this level of activity (i.e., going for daily walks or even runs) it is difficult.
This places an enormous new strain on their musculoskeletal system- not to mention the heart and lungs if they're older.
Super slow, stop 'n sniff walks notwithstanding, there are A LOT of other non-strenuous bonding activities you can do with your pets during this period of quarantine.
Several of which are illustrated right here on this blog's pages! (A wagon is a great idea to not over stress them and still get to be outside.)
Being in nature is wonderful!
Having a dog turn up lame and worrying, not only about his/her health, but how you're going to fare going to the vet's office, is something we (STILL) don't have time for- even now.
When the quarantine is lifted, I am hopeful that we will all continue to be mindful of our hygiene and keep the same level of interaction and activity with our pets as we are doing right now.
The AVMA released an advisory this week concerning pets and COVID-19.
The good news is that at this point, there is no evidence that shows our pets become ill with coronavirus or that they get/give it to other animals. Including us.
However, the initial "epicenter" of the outbreak in Wuhan China had a large seafood and animal market suggestive of humans receiving it from animals.
Here is a specific quote from the AVMA's press release:
You should still practice good hygiene and for your pet - keep them clean, clean bedding, bowls, toys, wash your hands...etc. Perhaps being more diligent and consistent now than maybe we were previously, makes for good, future practices as well.
Those that contract the virus, because of all the caution, shouldn't abandon extra safety measures or advisement, which means- someone else should be walking, feeding, and playing with the pets while they recuperate.
Amazon announced earlier today that it will run short of non-essential supplies until April once current inventory is out of stock.
If you don't already have an "emergency supply" of pet food and medications (considered 14-days), it is a good idea to stock up now.
This could be a positive time period for families as spending more time with your pets increases bonding and well-being (for EVERYONE) and perhaps more walks outside for the canine family members will help put a dent in the pet obesity problem we're currently dealing with!
What related questions do you have?
Are you concerned?