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Is anyone more anxious/nervous about walking dogs more now?

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Is anyone more anxious/nervous about walking dogs more now?

edited 15 June at 8:57AM in Pets & Pet Care
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edited 15 June at 8:57AM in Pets & Pet Care
I generally suffer from anxiety anyway but I'm finding things more difficult during this pandemic when walking my dog. I've never been one to let her off a lead on pavements and only let her off in a large enough area where there are not many other people or dogs around. As far as I'm aware, we are currently advised to keep dogs on a lead during this pandemic, which I've stuck to. I have had nothing against anyone that walks dogs off a lead in parks prior to this pandemic, but more so now than before I do not want or like other dogs within touching distance of my dog. Now that we are social distancing I feel the same should apply to our dogs yet so many people still have their dogs off leads in public places and some even on public footpaths and pavements. I've done so well lately keeping my dog out of contact from other dogs in terms of touching noses or being licked. A few days ago a dog came out of nowhere onto the green near to where we live and bolts over in a playful manner but wouldn't leave my dog alone. The owner wasn't even close to the dog and didn't apologise. I couldn't react in time or keep my dog away and it made me angry, playing on my mind for a few days after. Then only tonight I was out walking the dog on the green and she went over to a white object on the grass and it turns out to be a used face mask. The problem with my dog is that she has quite a noticeable underbite so when she attempts to sniff something it is normally her lip or jaw that make contact first. Again, after this I had worry all night as it was a mask and I'm wondering was it used and thrown away because someone had the virus. Call me paranoid but for someone that suffers quite badly with anxiety I do find things quite a struggle at the moment when we are all slightly on edge about the current situation. Am I being over the top or are others worrying about things they wouldn't normally have done so about prior to this pandemic? 

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  • mcpitmanmcpitman Forumite
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    Hello, I also have a dog and have let her off lead as the fields we walk in are quite quiet. I do this because she has solid recall and even if other dogs are bothering her or near by she will forget them and return to me.

    However, last night it were as if lockdown had ended when I took her out. My solution will be pavement walks or going further a field to find some solitude over the next few mornings/nights.

    Whilst I am not strictly socially distancing my dog, walking her when it is raining or colder and even later at night/early in the morning will be the way forward to avoid the masses and give safe exercise to the dog (and myself).

    You are not wrong to be anxious, I think most people who do not normally have anxiety have felt that way over the last few weeks/months. I suppose mentally the used mask wouldn't be a nice thought, but think of it as a discarded sandwich or drinks bottle, your dog would have sniffed and investigated those too, which would have been in close contact with someone, but you may have not felt the same about them.

    Try walking her at "off peak" times or early (pre 0600) or later at night (post 2000), not a bad habit to adopt now anyway in readiness for summer when it is too warm for them in the day.

    Life isn't about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away. Like choking....
  • edited 14 May at 5:22PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 14 May at 5:22PM
    I can't see anything in the official guidance which says that dogs should be kept on lead due to Covid.
    I've seen people on social media suggesting it, but in the main they seem to be the people who would prefer all dogs to always be on a lead.
    There is no evidence at the moment to suggest that dogs either catch or transmit covid. Any tests that have been done seem to be lab based rather than real life ones, and any traces of covid found on animals seem to be miniscule with nowhere near enough viral load to actually pass it on. You don't need to keep your dog away from other dogs, so if he's normally off-lead, and has good recall, I'd let him off and let him get on with it. 
    If another dog approaches yours in a friendly manner and the owner keeps their distance, from a virus point of view that is safer for you.
    But if its really bothering you, find somewhere where it's quieter and go at times that no-one else is out. 

    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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