Most countries seem to allow dog walking during anti-COVID-19 measures preventing the spread of the coronavirus. However, there's at least South Africa where even dog walking is disallowed. The extent to which it's disallowed is a bit unclear, but the wording from the news suggest that dog owners are supposed to not get out of their houses unless they "really want to":

Dog lovers in South Africa have been ordered not to take their beloved pets for a walk for three weeks, Police Minister Bheki Cele said at a news conference.

“We had discussions and agreed that there shall be no walking of dogs,” Cele said. “If you really want to walk your dog, do it around your house – it ends there.”


Currently there's only South Africa with a limitation like this, but nothing stops other countries from applying the same restrictions if the spread of COVID-19 can't be stopped.

How are owners supposed to take care of their dog's toilet needs if dog walking is disallowed? Is there some sensible way, or are they supposed to wait for dogs to make a mess and then clean up? (I'd probably rely on the "really want to" case myself, but it seems to be considered an exception by those imposing the restriction.)

3 Answers 3


If Elmy's and Mario's answer didn't work, maybe my observation could help:

Last summer, we travelled by a ferry where dogs were allowed to walk with their owners (most other ferries allows dogs only as "luggage" to stay in the cars).

This ferry had a plastic tub, like these ones used to make concrete in them for home projects. It was filled with sand and one "tree trunk" made of plastic or old wood. There was something like a ramp for the smaller dogs to get into the tub. The dogs were encouraged to do their pee and poo there. The poo was then picked up by the owner and disposed of in the nearby bin.

Maybe there is a space (not in the "normal" living rooms) where you could build similar structure to encourage your dog to make its toilet of. Optimally, it would be a room that he has no access to by himself, so you're ensured it wouldn't get messed up - but for now you could simulate "making a walk" to it.


Dogs - like humans - usually choose a certain place as their "bathroom" to do their business there. As long as the poop doesn't pile up without ever disappearing, they will stick to this bathroom.

If your dog is toilet trained, it learned that the bathroom is somewhere outside and never in the house. If you really lock it up inside there are 2 consequences:

  1. Your dog will hold its pee and poop as long as possible, because it cannot go to the bathroom. That is very uncomfortable and can have negative effects on the health.
  2. Sooner or later, your dog has to make a mess, every single day. It'll learn that the toilet is now inside the house and it will be extremely hard to stop this behavior again if the covid-19 crisis is over.

So my best advice is: Go outside for your dogs toiletry needs, no matter what your government says.

The quote implies that your government is very aware that it's impossible to lock dogs inside the house.

“If you really want to walk your dog, do it around your house – it ends there.”

If you don't have a yard where your dog can do its business, you have a reason to "really want to walk your dog". But please stick to the streets / walkways closest to your home and don't wander through half the city into a crouded dog park. If one round around the house isn't enough for your dog, walk 2 or 3 rounds around the house, but do stay close to the house.


You'd have to ask local authorities I guess but my interpretation is basically "stay close to your house". Your still allowed to walk the dog (which they can't really forbid), but people should still try to reduce the distance traveled (and therefore the distance of potential spreading).

If your dog has too much energy without a long walk, look around here, there are tons of ways to tire a dog, like getting them to sniff for threats and similar things.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.