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New England guidance on dog walking in lockdown

THE RSPCA has welcomed new guidance from the UK Government which will make it easier for people in England to walk and exercise their dogs amid ongoing lockdown restrictions. Advice for pet owners in England was updated on 13 January 2021, and now outlines that people with dogs can go out more often than once a day to exercise their canine companion if necessary. However, people are still advised by the UK Government to:- "limit this where possible."  The new advice for dog walkers in England can be found on the UK Government website.  England has been under a national lockdown since 5 January 2021, and people may only exercise outside the home once a day. However, the RSPCA says the decision to relax this so pet owners can meet the exercise needs of their dogs locally is a:- "common sense approach" which avoids discriminating against dogs in single person households. Previously, multiple people from the same household could use their daily exercise to walk the same dog, but dogs living with 1 person were restricted to a single walk a day. In Wales, where national alert level 4 restrictions have been in force since 20 December 2020 there remains no limit on how often someone may exercise. However, people must not travel for exercise, including dog walking; which must start and begin from home.

Dr Samantha Gaines, the RSPCA's head of companion animals, said:- "The RSPCA really welcomes this important new guidance for England from the UK Government, which is a common sense approach for dog owners and their pets. Under these rules, dog walkers may now go out more than once a day to meet the exercise needs of their dogs. This 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."

Meanwhile, the RSPCA continues to urge Local Authorities across England and Wales to ease locally imposed rules on where dogs can be exercised; known as Public Spaces Protection Orders, which often restrict dogs from being walked in certain places. This will help ensure adequate provision of local dog walking spots during the lockdown, to help keep people in their immediate communities and prevent unnecessary travel. Owners of dogs have also been reminded that a friend, relative or someone in the local community can help a vulnerable person, or someone who is self isolating, with their dog walking; but to closely follow guidance on handover protocols and safety from the Canine and Feline Sector Group (CFSG) and Animal Welfare Network for Wales (AWNW).  Dog walking rules in England and Wales; following national lockdowns being introduced:-


People can go out for exercise more than once daily if you need to walk your dog, but should limit this where possible.

People should not travel outside of the local area to exercise.

If you are self isolating, use your garden as a place for your dog to toilet and play.

Someone else may be able to help walk your dog, but must follow advice.


There is no limit on how often someone may exercise.

People should not travel at all for exercise, including dog walking. It must start and begin from home.

If you are self isolating, use your garden as a place for your dog to toilet and play.

Someone else may be able to help walk your dog, but must follow advice.

The RSPCA has published advice for pet owners on looking after their animals during the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic.

Scientific Study Reveals the Words Dogs Love Most

OUR loving and caring 4 legged pals played a helping hand in making sure 2020 was made easier; they provided us with laughs, smiles and happiness throughout bleak times. Intrigued to uncover what sends our household pals into a tail wagging frenzy, experts at conducted a 3 month study to find out which words and phrases our pooches love to hear the most. In a bid to rank the most exciting phrases, OnBuy surveyed 4,389 pet owners across the UK to uncover their dogs' favourite words. After the top phrases were discovered, they then analysed the heart rates of each dog once each phrase was mentioned; the results were as follows:-

Leads at the ready, the most paw rific word is:- "walkies" with an average heart rate of 156 BPM (beats per minute)! With a resting average of 115 BPM there was an average increase of a whopping 36% once the phrase was mentioned. In 2nd place, and closely following:- "walkies," are the words:- "dinner," "food," and "eat," raising our pooches heart rates to an average of 152 BPM (32% increase). Normally given for appraisal, is it any wonder that:- "treat" makes the top 3 words dogs love the most? This tail wagging term gets their heart rates up to an average 151 BPM (31% increase) OnBuy's study can also reveal that the least loved words and phrases by dogs are:- 'shall we go home?,' 'roll over,' 'speak,' 'come on then,' and 'paw.'

Which breeds were the most excited by 'happy' commands? The top 5 breeds who got the most excited by 'happy' commands were:- French Bulldogs, Beagles, Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, and Dachshunds (sausage dog)! In 1st place are French Bulldogs, with each command increasing their resting heart rate by 28%! Following closely behind are Beagles, increasing their average resting heart rate by 26%. The native German Rottweiler comes in 3rd place, with an average increase heart rate by 23% on average. In 4th place is 1 of the most popular dogs in the world, Labrador Retrievers. After, hearing:- "walkies," "treat," and other commands, Labs' resting heart rate had shown to increase by 21% on average. Securing the final spot for the top 5 is the Dachshund, or more commonly known as the Sausage Dog, having an 18% heart rate increase when hearing happy commands.

Please see Onbuy's blog post for more information and case studies.  If you have a pooch, please do let us by emailing us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com and let us know what words your dog appears to likes the best...


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