Good news for dog owners as seven Vancouver dog parks reopen, but are you ready to use them?
Last week saw B.C officially begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions, with the City of Vancouver announcing the reopening of seven of its popular off-leash dog parks after two months of closure.
Vancouver, along with many cities and provinces across Canada, closed off-leash dog parks in March to minimize the spread of the virus and encourage physical distancing.
Good news came to local dog owners, and their pups, last week as a number of those parks reopened to the public, including:
Speaking about the reopening of dog parks, Dr. Scott Weese, a veterinary microbiologist told CBC News, “That’s a good thing, in terms of people getting out and dogs getting exercise again, while still maintaining physical distancing measures.”
Weese also shared that dog owners must still practise caution, ensuring they take the necessary precautions to keep the spread of the coronavirus to a minimum.
"We can't just go back to normal. There's going to be a new normal for quite a while," he said.
Although most of the current research has proven there to be no evidence that dogs can transmit the COVID-19 virus to humans, it has not yet been proven that dogs cannot carry the virus in some form.
Last month, PawSwap spoke with Dr. Claire Ashburner about how best to protect your dog as research into COVID-19 and pets continue.
“As the virus is being researched and studied, new information and guidelines are developing daily. It’s important to keep in contact with your veterinary team and their resources to ensure that all recommendations are up to date.” advises Ashburn, a vet at West King Edward Animal Clinic.
“It’s also important to continue to practice proper hygiene, including regular handwashing, to help reduce the risk.”
The Vancouver Park Board has also reminded everyone of making use of the reopened parks to wash and/or sanitize their hands often. In particular, people should ensure their hands are clean before and after opening gates.
Dog owners should also continue to practice safe physical distancing of at least two metres from others outside of their homes.