The RSPCA has welcomed new guidance from the UK Government which will make it easier for people in England to walk and exercise their dogs amid ongoing lockdown restrictions.
Advice for pet owners in England was updated earlier this week and now outlines that people with dogs can go out more often than once a day to exercise their canine companion if necessary. However, people are still advised by the UK Government to ‘limit this where possible’.
The new advice for dog walkers in England can be found on the UK Government website.
England has been under a national lockdown since 5th January – and people may only exercise outside the home once a day. However, the RSPCA says the decision to relax this so pet owners can meet the exercise needs of their dogs locally is a ‘common sense approach’ which avoids discriminating against dogs in single-person households. Previously, multiple people from the same household could use their daily exercise to walk the same dog – but dogs living with 1 person were restricted to a single walk a day.
Dr Samantha Gaines, the RSPCA’s head of companion animals, said:
“The RSPCA really welcomes this important new guidance for England from the UK Government, which is a common sense approach for dog owners and their pets.
“Under these rules, dog walkers may now go out more than once a day to meet the exercise needs of their dogs. This stops the rules penalising dogs living with one person – and also ensures more consistency with lockdown rules in Wales, where there is no cap on how many times someone may walk their dog. Exercise in Wales must start and stop from the home.
“We all must do our bit to stop coronavirus – so it’s important people understand the restrictions and keep local. Keeping dogs on leads at this time can help ensure social distancing, and will avoid owners unnecessarily coming into contact with one another should a pet need to be retrieved.”
Dog walking rules in England – following national lockdowns being introduced
|· People can go out for exercise more than once daily if you need to walk your dog – but should limit this where possible.
· People should not travel outside of the local area to exercise.
· If you are self-isolating, use your garden as a place for your dog to toilet and play.
· Someone else may be able to help walk your dog, but must follow advice.