Anna Webb – Broadcaster, Author, has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). She lives in London and is owned by Prudence a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. www.annawebb.co.uk
Taking your dog for walks twice a day for at least an hour in total could soon become law in Germany.
This news has got tongues wagging in the UK, not least in highlighting that we could go further with our own animal welfare legislation.
The proposed ‘Dog Law’ also aims to cut down on Puppy farms by banning breeders from looking after more than three litters at a time.
It’s part of Agricultural Minister, Julia Klöckner, plans to strengthen its animal welfare legislation in line with expert advice. It will also include new rules on transporting livestock and the hours spent in transit limited to 4.5 hours.
Many dog ‘parents’ feel insulted that they’re not being trusted to care for their own doggy appropriately. Critics suggest that apart for being impossible to police, walking your dog is based on an individual dog’s age, health and daily weather conditions.
In the wake of the UK’s ‘puppy boom’ post Lockdown, figures from the RSPCA reveal it may be time for us to sharpen our own regulations around ‘walking the dog’.
Staggeringly Britain’s dogs are in the midst of an obesity crisis with 1 in 2 considered porky or obese. It begs the question that we’re either feeding them too much, or not giving our dogs enough exercise?
Figures suggest that the average dog walk in the UK is only 20 minutes, and that many squeeze ‘walking the dog’ into a school run, or around the block after work.
Most dogs do need one hour’s exercise daily – that’s a combination of walking, play and socialisation, whilst some breeds will require much more than this.
The RSPCA also revealed that over a third of dog parents never walk their own dog, rather relying on dog walkers charging anything up to £20.00 an hour.
After a severe cruelty case involving a dog walker hit headlines last week, it begs the questions that legislation, licensing and accountability is lacking in this booming service sector.
Back in the day before dog walkers and doggy day care became big business, you walked your own dog. Also rescues would not re-home to ‘parents’ working nine to five jobs for the sake of the dog being left alone.
The RSPCA ‘s ‘professional Dog Walking Guidelines’ clearly reiterates the legal requirements and responsibilities to ‘dog walkers’ within The Animal Welfare Act (2006).
It urges attention to local authority regulations and bylaws, recommending that no more than four dogs walked together. And that first aid and dog training experience is mandatory.
Whilst new legislation including #LucysLaw and #FinnsLaw have proved Government’s commitment to animal welfare, we could look to Europe for improvement, not least where pet friendly housing and pet clauses are concerned.
With 55% of private landlords still misinterpreting or removing the pet clause in Government’s ‘model tenancy agreement’, the UK is at odds with mainland Europe’s ‘pet friendly’ laws.
Plus its clear that whilst on-going lobbying for #PetTheftReform and #FinnsLawPart2, that as a nation of animal lovers we feel passionately that more needs to be done in line with The Animal Welfare Act.