Experts warn owners face coverings leave canines feeling 'confused'

Dogs are SCARED of masks: Experts warn owners that face coverings leave canines feeling ‘confused and concerned’

  • An animal charity have warned that dogs might be scared of face coverings
  • Dogs Trust said people covering their faces could cause dogs to be ‘confused’
  • The charity advised owners to avoid public transport and busy areas with pets 

Experts have warned that dogs may be scared of people wearing face masks and urged animal owners to avoid taking their pets on public transport.

An animal charity has warned that people covering their faces could scare dogs and leave them ‘confused’.

Dogs Trust said people suddenly adopting face masks could make canines feel ‘concerned’, as they are not able to read facial expressions, the Telegraph reported.

Animal charity Dogs Trust have warned that dogs may be ‘confused’ and scared by people wearing face masks, urging owners to avoid taking their pets on public transport (file photo)

The charity warned that dogs use facial expressions to read emotions so face coverings could leave pets not being able to see or hear their owners properly. 

Dr Jenna Kiddie, head of behaviour at Dogs Trust, said: ‘As face masks become an increasingly common sight in our daily lives, we should make sure our dogs are also able to take this in their stride. Without being able to see full faces, a dog is less able to interpret human emotion or our intentions.’ 

It has been mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport since June 15 and those who do not comply could be faced with a £100 fine. 

Dr Kiddie added that owners should be aware how social distancing guidelines apply to dogs, as although there is ‘no current evidence’ dogs can transmit coronavirus, it could be present ‘on their leads, collars or coats’. 

Dogs Trust has also advised owners to avoid taking dogs on public transport, as the canines might be confused when seeing large crowds of people wearing masks. 

Dogs Trust also asked owners not to leave their dogs tied up outside shops or supermarkets, as they may become distressed by queues of people wearing face coverings (file photo)

The charity added that dog owners should always check the travel operator’s policy before travelling with their pets.  

It also urged owners to only walk their dogs in the quieter periods of the day and avoid tying their dog up outside shops.

To further avoid crowds, dog owners should also plan their walking times around the busiest periods, so their dog doesn’t have to stand in or pass by lengthy queues outside of shops. 

This comes as the Government have extended mandatory face mask regulations to shops and supermarkets from July 24.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it would ‘give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops’.

He added that shops can refuse customers entry and urged workers to call the police if people ‘refuse to comply’. 

This move is in line with regulations in Scotland and other European countries, including Spain and Germany.

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