RSPCA welcomes changes which will help owners meet pet's exercise needs
The government has updated it's guidance for pet owners in England, making it easier for dog walkers to exercise their pets despite lockdown restrictions.
The COVID-19 guidance originally stated that people may only leave the house once a day for exercise, however the new guidance – updated 13 January – states that dog owners can go outside more than once per day in order to walk their pet.
However, the government urges dog walkers to limit this where possible, to not leave travel outside of their local areas and to maintain social distancing when out in public.
The RSPCA welcomed the decision to relax restrictions in order to ensure pet owners can meet the exercise needs of their pets, calling it a 'common sense approach.'
RSPCA's head of companion animals Dr Samantha Gaines said: "[This new guidance] 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."
The charity continues to urge local authorities to ease Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), which limit the places in which dogs can be walked, making it more difficult for owners to exercise their dogs and leading to unnecessary travel.
The read the new advice for dog walkers in England, please click here.