Tails wag in Shropshire as dog walking restrictions eased

Walkies! It's the word that has most dogs jumping up, wagging their tail and rushing off to the door.

Ricky Roberts said his six-year-old Spinone, Bolly, needed to be walked more than once a day and welcomed the easing of restrictions
Ricky Roberts said his six-year-old Spinone, Bolly, needed to be walked more than once a day and welcomed the easing of restrictions

But since the latest coronavirus lockdown was imposed the official guideline was you could only walk your pet pooch as part of your once a day exercise.

Now the rule has been relaxed, to the delight of the RSPCA animal charity, and Shropshire's dog walkers.

The Government has revised its restrictions so 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".

Trixi Field with her dog Harry

Dr Samantha Gaines from the RSPCA said: "We feel 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 one person were restricted to a single walk a day."

Dog walkers at Ellesmere welcomed the relaxing of the restrictions.

Chris Roberts and Fremont

With his wife shielding, Chris Roberts is responsible for taking four-year-old miniature schnauzer Fremont for a walk. He hadn't realised the rules had been relaxed and was delighted.

"Instead of doing a morning and a late afternoon walk I have just been going for one, longer walk in the middle of the day," he said.

"But now I can go back to two a day."

Debbie and Dean Watson said they had to choose between going for separate walks with their six-year-old dog, Henry, or just having one walk together.

"If I walked Harry then I couldn't go and have a run," Debbie said.

Debbie and Dean Watson with their dog Henry

Mother and daughter Sam and Millie Clubbe also had the same difficulty choose whether to walk their nine-year-old rescue dog, Bruno, or enjoy a run.

They were living in Spain when they rescued Bruno's mum from the streets. Soon after she gave birth to nine puppies and the family brought one of them, Bruno, back when they returned to live in Shropshire five years ago.

"I asked friends for advice about the dog walking and the main advice was to take the dog for a walk first as she definitely can't run, take her back home and go straight back out for a run - one exercise," Sam said.

Sam Clubbe with daughter Millie and dog Bruno

The different between one or two dog walks was one Trixi Field said she struggled to understand.

"Why is going out once a day less risky that going out twice a day," she said.

She said taking her 12-year-old cavalier Harry out was good for both of them.

"We need to get out in the fresh air more than ever at the moment.

The Jarvis family walk their dog, Pip

Six-year-old Spinone Bolly is happy to run alongside Ricky Roberts, or be just as happy sleeping by the fire.

"But dogs need a walk more than once a day," he said.

Mandy Jarvis said her family was happy that they could go out together for a walk with Pip, and one of them could then go for a second walk later in the day,

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