‘Pawing the way’: The Kennel Club issues advice to protect the nation's dogs as restrictions continue to lift

The organisation’s post-lockdown ‘paw-by-paw guide’ offers advice and guidance for new and seasoned dog owners to navigate newly found freedoms

With Covid-19 restrictions easing further from Monday (17 May) and the relaxation of rules around overnight stays, indoor dining and socialisation, The Kennel Club has issued advice to help dog owners enjoy their newly found freedoms responsibly, alongside their four-legged friends.

Launched earlier this year to support responsible dog ownership as the UK began to open up after a year of restrictions, The Kennel Club’s ‘paw-by-paw guide out of lockdown’ provides information and advice on exploring further afield, travelling and staycations, and planning dog-friendly adventures, as the country continues to open up.

Mirroring the four nations' plan to ease lockdown, the guide aims to help the UK’s much-loved canine companions to adjust as normality begins to resume and advise owners as they re-discover the wider world with their dog, after months of staying at home. It includes tips on walking in the countryside, guidance on navigating dog-friendly establishments and warm weather advice, including if you’re travelling or going away with your four-legged friend, to ensure dogs are safe and comfortable wherever they go.

“Whether you have a well-balanced dog or a new puppy, a year of pandemic restrictions means that our pets have missed out on lots of socialisation opportunities, walks to new or further afield places, trips away and generally life as we knew it,” commented Bill Lambert, Head of Health and Welfare at The Kennel Club. “In fact, many puppies may have only experienced life in lockdown, and we can’t expect them to immediately adapt to what ‘normal’ life is like; we need to ease them in and help them to learn about the wider world.

“Many puppies, and even older dogs, will have lost vital socialisation and training opportunities due to lockdown restrictions and need their owners to lead the way, recognising their responsibilities and preparing them as the world continues to open up.

“With some new-found freedoms from today in England, it’s great that we can start introducing, or re-introducing, our dogs to the wider world and discover it by their side again. Our ‘Paw-by-Paw’ resource doesn’t only help all dog owners to adjust to the new normal happily and safely, but also provides useful advice about seasonal dangers, dog-friendly holidays and ‘petiquette’ at pubs, cafes and restaurants. Our guide is an excellent checklist to make use of before any trip to make sure your four-legged friend will enjoy this adventure safely and comfortably.”

The ‘paw-by-paw guide’ includes expert advice on getting your dog used to being around other people, dogs and animals, navigating certain situations and environments, as well as how to find dog-friendly holidays and places to visit, so owners can make future plans with their dogs as we enter the third stage of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.