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Dog walking rules clarified

By Alan Beresford

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THE Scottish Government have issued clarification as to the number of times dog owners can take their pets out.

Dog owners are allowed to take their pets out more than once a day in certain circumstances.
Dog owners are allowed to take their pets out more than once a day in certain circumstances.

Confusion had arisen after the UK government stated that householders were allowed one period of exercise outdoors per day, with many dog owners left unsure as to how this applied to taking dogs out for toilet walks.

On the www.gov.scot website, dog owners are advised: "It is accepted that dogs may need to be taken out more than once per day if they do not have access to a garden or other area to toilet.

"This must be done following the guidance on social distancing so that you do not come within two metres of other people and wash your hands after returning."

For those who are self-isolating, the same advice applies. If arrangements have been made for others to walk such a householder's dog, then care should be taken for the dog walker not to enter the premises concerned.

The official advice continues: "...where practical pets should be cared for away from their home for the isolation period so that repeated visits are avoided.

"Strict social distancing should be followed when pets are collected or returned so you avoid coming within two metres of the people self-isolating and wash your hands afterwards. You should only enter their home if absolutely necessary and stay for as short a time as possible. Dogs from self-isolating households should be kept on a lead and contact avoided with other people and animals if being walked in public."

Those who have become too unwell to care for their pets or livestock can seek help from (for companion animals) the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999, https://www.scottishspca.org/news/coronavirus-and-your-pet or(for livestock) the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution on 0300 111 4166 (7am-11pm), https://rsabi.org.uk/Home-Page

Journeys to feed or provide other essential care for animals are acceptable, as are trips to the vets for essential care. In the latter case, pet owners are advised to contact the vets' practice beforehand to determine of care required is essential and what social distancing measures are in place.

For more information on caring for pets and livestock during the Covid-19 crisis, visit https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-to-owners-of-companion-animals-and-livestock/

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