Great Britain

Am I allowed to walk my dog during the coronavirus lockdown?

ALL UK residents have been told they must stay at home to slow the spread of coronavirus and are only allowed outside the house for four reasons.

Dog owners will be happy to know that walking their dog is permitted as a form of exercise, but there are still strict rules to follow. Here's everything we know.

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Can I still walk my dog during coronavirus lockdown?

Yes, provided you do it only once per day either alone or with people from your household.

Boris Johnson has forbidden all Brits from leaving the house except for four reasons.

The rules mean dog owners are allowed to take their furry friend out for one walk per day, in line with the rules about exercise.

Households with two or more adults can take it in turns to walk their dog if it usually goes more than once a day.

But anyone who is self-isolating because they have coronavirus symptoms should not leave their home at all.

The RSPCA has said there are ways around this, such as arranging for another person to care for your pet or by playing with them in your garden.

You should avoid interacting with other pet owners you might encounter at the park.

How long will these lockdown measures be in place?

Mr Johnson initially announced the lockdown measures would in place for three weeks from March 23 and they would be reviewed afterwards.

But at a press conference on April 9 when he was filling in for Mr Johnson, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was too early to end the lockdown until at least the end of the next week.

The length of the lockdown was always expected to depend on when the UK moved beyond the peak of new coronavirus cases.

What should I do if I have to keep my dog in the house?

Not to despair, there are many ways to keep you and your dog entertained in the house if you have to self-isolate.

In its official guideline, the RSPCA says mental stimulation games while you are indoors should do the trick and keep you and your pet occupied.

This includes ditching the food bowl at dinner time and feeding your pet with a food puzzle to get them thinking-or teaching them a new trick, which is great simulation for a dog.

Spotify have also come to pet owners aid by launching, 'My Dog's Favourite Podcast' which has a range of carefully selected spoken word, sound and original music designed to encourage relaxation.


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Can dogs and pets get coronavirus?

Internationally, there have been some reported cases of dogs, cats and even a tiger contracting coronavirus from humans.

But the World Organisation for Animal Health has stressed that "currently, there is no evidence to suggest that animals infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of Covid-19".

Here, in the UK, official government lines published on March 27 say "there is no evidence of coronavirus circulating in pets or other animals in the UK and there is nothing to suggest animals may transmit the disease to humans.

The RSPCA has said pets may be impacted if you or any members of your family test positive for the virus or are asked to stay at home and self-isolate.

To what capacity they will be impacted is unknown, so to be on the safe side you should avoid kissing, licking or sharing food with your pet, and make sure you have extra supplies of pet food and medication in case you have to self-isolate.

Also, if you do need to interact with your pet, wash your hands before you do and try to wear a face mask if possible.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has said pets from households where someone has had coronavirus symptoms should be kept indoors to protect the spread of the virus among animals.

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