COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – an update for our clients.

New lockdown rules say you can walk your dog more than once a day

January 25, 2021

The UK’s lockdown rules on leaving your house once a day to exercise had many dog owners in Dorset frustrated and many dogs climbing the walls.

Best Friends Vets’ head vet, Stephan Radermacher explains, “Dogs require a combination of mental stimulation and adequate exercise each day for their age, size, breed, and health, to look after their mental and physical wellbeing. That can be difficult to achieve in just one walk a day.”

Thankfully, the Government has recently updated it’s rules on animal welfare, making dog walking exempt from the ‘exercising outdoors once per day’ rule.

The Government does still generally advise you should exercise once a day, however, their updated rules state you can go out more often if you need to walk your dog, but should limit this where possible and not go outside of your local area.

For dog owners this means you may leave your house to walk your dog:
– by yourself
– with the people you live with
– with your support bubble (if you’re legally permitted to form one)
– or, when on your own in a public outdoor space, with one person from another household

This is covered by the exemptions for animal welfare and exercise. You should:

  • Stay 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household or support bubble.
  • Consider putting your dog on a lead to ensure you can stay 2 metres away from others when walking your dog in areas used by other people.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling your dog.

At Best Friends Vets we’re delighted with this update from the Government as we know it will be welcomed by many dog owners in Dorset.

The new rules make life easier for owners with no garden for ‘toilet time’, and owners who are the sole dog walker. They’ll also help owners and dogs where only short walks can be managed, or where dogs need several hours of exercise each day, manageable only in multiple outings.

Plus, more dog walks means more enrichment and less boredom for them, and hopefully reduces any undesirable behaviours (and weight gain) they’ve picked up whilst being stuck indoors more during lockdown. It’s important to still follow the official advice, but at least now you can also improve your dog’s quality of life.