Keeping Dogs Safe on Trail During COVID-19

Happy Dog on Leash

These days we are all spending more time exploring trails near our homes with our favorite furry friends. But as we seek solace in nature, it is important that we continue to protect the health of our families and neighbors. Unfortunately, there is growing evidence that pets can be infected by COVID-19.

The CDC has issued guidance on how to keep pets safe during this pandemic. While the the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 is currently considered low, there is evidence that COVID-19 can spread from people to animals.

The CDC recommends that the best way to keep you and your dog safe is to treat them like another human family member and socially distance from others. They specifically recommend:

  • Keeping dogs on a leash
  • Maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals (fortunately most standard leashes are 6 feet in length).
  • Avoiding dog parks or public places where a large number of people or dogs gather.

Leashes can be particularly useful as off-leash pets can sometimes cause us to break our own 6 feet distancing from others. Many conservation organizations have updated their property guidelines during this time, including requiring leashes for dogs. Please keep this in mind when you are visiting a trail and keep your dog on leash.

Read the detailed guidance on the CDC website.

There are many more of us walking, running and using trails these days, so remember you might need to change your plan if there a lot of cars at a trailhead. Read more guidance on how to visit trails during COVID-19 on TrailFinder.