The necessary “sheltering-at-home” to stop the spread of COVID-19 has been hard on all of us, as we’re not able to do many activities that we previously may have taken for granted, such as traveling, going to restaurants, or meeting with friends. The COVID-19 pandemic is also challenging for dogs and dog owners, as exercise and fresh air are important for the physical and mental health of dogs. Here are some tips on where to walk your dog in the Topeka-area during the COVID-19 pandemic.
[Restrictions and regulations on social distancing and park closures are fluid with the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Check the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website for updated information.]
Precautions for Walking Your Dog During COVID-19
While there is currently no evidence of any dogs showing any severe symptoms from COVID-19, dogs can still get infected and transmit the virus to humans. With this in mind, it’s important to take the necessary precautions when walking your dog. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has guidelines for this. Always walk your dog with a leash and leave at least a distance of six feet from other people, other dogs, and other animals. Don’t let your dog interact with other people or other dogs. Avoid places that have many people and dogs. Thoroughly wash your hands both before and after walking your dog. Carry hand sanitizer with you on dog walks and use it as needed.
Can I walk my dog at a dog park or other parks in the Topeka-area?
The official CDC guideline on this is to “avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.” With this in mind, it’s best to limit walking your dog to an area around your house or within your yard.
It may be difficult for some dog owners to do this, so use your best judgment and closely follow the above CDC precautions when walking your dog. Dog parks in the Topeka-area include Hills Bark Park, Waggin’ Tails Dog Park, Kill Creek Streamway Dog Park, and Mutt Run. Other options include Perry State Park, Shawnee County Park, MacLennan Park Trail, and Crestview Park. As noted above, be sure to check the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website for updated information regarding restrictions and regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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