With lockdown in England currently set to last until at least February, you might be finding things quite difficult at the moment. And, if you’re struggling to exercise your dog properly or keep your pooch’s anxiety levels to a minimum, then you’re not alone.
The good news is that the current guidance for England now includes specific advice on walking your dog during lockdown.
Especially if you live alone, or don’t have the luxury of a garden, it can be tricky to exercise your dog properly with just one walk a day. So, here’s some welcome news. The new guidance allows you, within reason, to leave the house for exercise more than once a day if you need to walk your dog.
What are the rules?
So, what are you allowed to do? And what precautions should you still be taking?
You should still be walking your dog by yourself, or with your household. You may also walk your dog with your support bubble, or with one person from another household. But remember, you do need to stay two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
If you’re walking your dog twice a day, I would advise keeping it to a solo walk to help reduce contact as much as possible. This allows more space for everyone to keep two metres apart and stay safe. The government also advises keeping your dog on a lead to help with social distancing.
Other guidance on exercise and leaving the house is still in place. Therefore, local walks are still on the menu for the time being.
Finally, the guidance says you should wash your hands before and after handling your dog. I don’t know about you, but knowing where my dog’s been, I always wash my hands anyway!
It’s probably worth reminding you that if you’re self-isolating, you should not be walking your dog. You can arrange for someone else to do this for you of course.
The full government guidance on walking your dog during lockdown can be found here. If you’re in Wales the advice for walking your dog already allows you to leave your home more than once a day. Similar advice is in place for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The weather is due to be quite stormy and wet for the next few days, so if you’re looking for tips on how to cope with muddy winter walks, do read our handy blog post.