Curbside Dog Walking Services Defined
On December 26th, 2020, the Province of Ontario sent out unclear messaging about dog walking services forcing dog walkers to shut down their Dog Walking companies.
After I had seen, signed and shared a petition to allow Dog Groomers to operate as an essential service, I started to search for a similar petition targeted to the Dog Walking industry. I could not find a petition that existed, so I decided to create one. In this petition, I clearly stated why Dog Walking Services should continue during the lockdown and how we could operate safely. Because of the large number of signatures generated in only a week, we made some noise that got the right people's attention to be heard and create a change..
Following media attention, The Ministry of Health made the following statement
"Pet walkers are permitted to operate under O. Reg. 82/20 - for services that are necessary for the immediate health and welfare of the animal only, or provided through curbside pick-up and drop-off of the animal."
I wrote this blog because some people have asked, "What is curbside pick-up and drop-off for a dog?"
Curbside pick-up for a dog means that we maintain a no contact pick-up and drop-off when getting our dogs and that we do not enter homes when clients are working from home.
Your professional dog walker should notify you before arrival for pick-up to make sure you have time to get your dog ready for their walk. Depending on your dog and the day, this might mean putting a harness on, or a coat and boots. Unless you are not home, Dog Walkers should NEVER be coming past your front door. This is for your own safety and ours.
When your Dog Walker arrives:
If you live in a house:
Leave your dog ready to go in your backyard or a fenced-in area on your property. If you do not have access to a backyard, we recommend safely tethering your dog to the front porch or even the door handle.
If you live in a condo:
When your dog walker is on your floor, and if it is safe to do so, you can let them out in the hallway, or if they need to be on a leash, you can wrap the leash around the door handle on the inside of the door and close the door with your dog in the hallway to be picked up and then dropped off again.
Also, your Dog Walker should be using their own leashes, as well as sanitizing before and after touching any surfaces to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Check out our COVID-19 resource page to learn what other protocols we recommend that all Dog Walking Services should follow.