If you do not have symptoms of coronavirus
You can take your dog out as often as needed. When outdoors, you should follow physical distancing and hygiene guidance.
You should also:
- keep your dog on a lead if necessary to avoid coming into contact with other people and dogs
- wash your hands when you return home
If you are self-isolating or in the extremely vulnerable group
If you are self-isolating or in the extremely vulnerable (shielding) group, you should not walk your dog outside. Instead, you should ask someone outside your household to walk your dog for you.
The person who walks your dog should avoid coming into your home, and ensure that dogs are kept on a lead to avoid contact with other people and dogs.
If you are walking dogs or caring for pets for someone not able to
You may walk a dog for someone not in your household who is unable to leave their house because they are self-isolating or are being shielded. When doing so, you should:
- avoid going into their home and wash your hands before and after contact with the dog
- ensure that dogs are kept on a lead to avoid contact with other people and dogs
Where practical, pets should be cared for away from the person’s home for the isolation period to avoid repeat visits.
Professional dog walkers
Professional dog walkers must follow the physical distancing and good hygiene guidelines, including:
- staying 2m away from pet owners at pick up and drop off
- regular handwashing
If walking dogs in a group:
- do not include any dogs from self-isolating or shielding households – these animals should be walked separately
- keep all dogs in the group on a lead if necessary to avoid contact with other people and any dogs not in the walking group.
- dogs may be allowed off lead in quiet or remote areas where contact with other people or dogs not in the walking group is unlikely
- make your clients aware of this, so they can decide whether they want their dog to be walked separately or as part of the group
Professional dog trainers
Professional dog trainers may offer commercial training, provided the guidance on physical distancing can be adhered to. This would include:
- remaining at least 2 metres from the owners of dogs under training
- practicing good hygiene at all times, with regular handwashing both before and after any contact
- dogs being trained should be kept on a lead to avoid contact with other clients or their dogs
In an outdoor setting, dogs from 4 households may be trained together, and no more than 15 persons may participate in an outdoor training session.
In an indoor setting, dogs from no more than 2 households may be trained together at a time; and no more than 8 persons may participate in an indoor training session.
Professional dog grooming
Professional dog grooming services may be provided as long as the guidance on physical distancing can be followed.
Nobody should meet more than the number of other households permitted per day by the staying safe/physical distancing guidelines.