HomeFor dogs, the pandemic means more walks but new anxietiesNewsFor dogs, the pandemic means more walks but new anxieties

For dogs, the pandemic means more walks but new anxieties

Sir Drew, an 8-year-old Airedale, passes dozens of other dogs on his daily walks near the shores of Lake Michigan. Normally the pets might exchange a friendly sniff, but these days, his owner says, “we just pull back and he gets a firm ‘no.’ ”

Jasper, a 3-year-old goldendoodle, doesn’t hit the beach in Portland, Maine, as often as he used to and hardly ever visits dog parks, his owner explains, “because they aren’t sanitized, and there’s no way to control who comes.”

Just as the novel coronavirus pandemic has upended our daily lives, it has also changed those of our pets, many of which are getting a lot more attention and a lot more walks. But for many dogs and their owners, those walks have also changed: They are imbued with new anxieties, altered routines and carefully modified routes.

Where once there might have been sociable butt-sniffs between canines, now there are sometimes awkward interactions between strangers who don’t share the same protocols on social distancing for dogs. Passersby are offering fewer caresses, and dog owners are more often turning down other people’s requests to pet for fear of unfamiliar hands depositing the virus on fur. Leashes are helping keep people six feet apart, but more of them on the sidewalks present new entangling hazards.

Continue reading here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/08/13/dogs-walking-coronavirus/

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