Coronavirus: how to look after your dog during lockdown

Our expert team have gathered all the Coronavirus-related questions dog owners may have and listed what you need to know, in line with the Government guidelines.

Can I still walk my dog?

If you are not quarantined because you, or a member of your household have shown symptoms, you are then able to take your dog for a walk.

Each adult in your household should only go out to exercise once a day, but you can take turns to go outside with your pooch.

If you live on your own then only walk your dog once a day.

Make sure to practice social distancing during the walk, by staying at least two meters away from others.

Can my dog get ill or transmit the virus?

It's important to mention that human-to-animal infection is very rare. But the virus could be passed via surfaces such as a dog's fur, collar and lead.

It's best to wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after your feed your pooch, touch them, their toys of bed. 

How should I take my dog to the toilet?

Take advantage of your daily outing to take your dog to the toilet. 

Otherwise, let them go in the garden or your front door. Check that you have enough poo bags to last for a few weeks. 

If you are diagnosed with Coronavirus or showing symptoms (or anyone in your household) then you shouldn't go past your garden/front door.

Can I walk someone else's dog?

Only if they are unable to do it themselves. It might be because they are key workers doing long hours, in the vulnerable category or showing symptoms/diagnosed with Coronavirus. 

In this case, the following guidelines apply to minimise the risks for both of you.

  • Walk the dog on a lead (use a different lead to the owner if possible) around the owner's neighbourhood. 
  • Avoid opening and closing the door.
  • Collect the dog safely, maintaining the two-metre distance rule and spending as little time as possible in the owner's house. Same when you take the dog back inside.
  • Avoid walking dogs from several households at the same time.
  • Wear gloves and avoid touching anything (phone, wallet, car keys...)
  • We know it's hard, but avoid petting the dog and don't let anyone else touch them. 
  • Thoroughly wash your hands before and after the walk.
  • When returning the dog to a vulnerable person it is recommended to wipe them with a pet friendly wipe or damp cloth. 

How about dog food, vets and medicine?

Maintain your dog's feeding schedule but we'd recommend buying their favourite foods in advance just in case you become unable to leave your house. 

You should avoid visiting the vets unless there's an emergency. If your pooch needs urgent care, give your vets a call. If you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus, do not visit the practice in person. 

If your dog is on a repeat medication you may be able to arrange for the treatment to be posted or delivered to you. 

Stay well and safe!