Can I walk my pets under the new UK coronavirus lockdown regulations?

Is there a different rule for walking cats and dogs under lockdown?

Many UK pet owners are understandably worried about the best way to care for pets during the coronavirus lockdown, particularly now the lockdown has been extended for at least three more weeks. One of the most common questions is whether it's still possible to walk pets, and although most do think about dogs in relation to walking pets we're going to take a look at the situation regarding pet cats first of all.

Can I walk my cat during the coronavirus lockdown?

Many city dwellers would rather take their pet cat out for a walk than leave him to roam free. And, of course, that's more the case for living in apartment blocks. You can check out exactly what the government coronavirus guidelines are for cat owners or read this brief summary.

What should I know about walking my cat during lockdown?

It's important to wash your hands thoroughly before and after any contact with your cat. If you normally take your cat out for walks on a leash, there is no law in place to stop you doing this. Just so long as you keep your pet secure during any walks, and don't allow members of the public to stroke him or get too close. Keep social distancing in mind at all times.

Even if your cat normally spends a lot of time outdoors, if someone in your household is showing symptoms of the coronavirus you are advised to keep the cat inside. This is because the virus can remain on your cat's fur for a long while and could actually spread to other pets in the neighbourhood. There are no current indications that people can catch coronavirus from pets, however.

Can I walk my dog during the coronavirus lockdown?

Yes, of course, you can still walk your dog during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, but it's important to follow the guidelines in order to stay safe. 

Again, you can check out the government's recommendations on dog care on their official website but the following pointers may help ensure your best friend still benefits from regular exercise during the lockdown period. According to government advice, dog owners are permitted to leave their house to walk their dog either:

  • By yourself.
  • With people you live with or your support bubble.
  • With one person from another household in an outdoor space.

How far can I walk my dog in lockdown?

Current government guidelines suggest people can go outside for about an hour for exercise every day. This exercise can obviously include walking your pet dog. Although this may be a reduction to your dog's normal walking routine, if there are other people in your household, they can also take the dog out during regular exercise.

What do I need to know about walking my dog in lockdown?

You should keep your dog under close control during any regular walks, and ensure social distancing is adhered to. This could mean keeping your pet on a lead at all times, in order to prevent him from socialising with other dogs and reduce risks of any petting from strangers.

Where can I walk my dog during lockdown?

If you don't have a garden for your dog, you can also take him out quick walks so he can relieve himself. However, any extra walks should be close to your home and social distancing should be maintained at all times.

Walking your pet with other dog owners may be an important part of your normal routine, however, during the coronavirus lockdown period, this is not permitted.

Finally, if you're worried that you've caught the COVID-19 infection, and can't get out to walk your pet, you can ask a friend or family member to exercise your pet, or get in touch with your local council.

You can find lots more information about walking your pet cat or dog on the government's guide to accessing green space and at the Canine and Feline Sector Group website.




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  • Dog