Can I walk my dog while self-isolating in the UK after my holiday?

Can I walk my dog while self-isolating in the UK after my holiday?

Sam Gaines, our companion animal expert, offers her advice on the steps to take to keep your dog fit and healthy if you're required to quarantine after returning from your holiday.

Government guidance on how to self-isolate when travelling to the UK states that you must only exercise within your home or garden. This means that you cannot leave your home to walk your dog. Therefore, you'll need to ask friends or relatives to temporarily pick up your dog's walking routine.

Asking someone you trust to kindly walk your dog during the quarantine period will mean that your dog's routine will stay relatively unchanged. If this isn't possible, you will have to seek the services of a commercial dog walker.

If this means that your dog is going to be walked less regularly and spending more time at home, we have made sure to include lots of advice on how to keep your dog mentally stimulated and entertained. Keeping your dog busy for the weeks that you are in quarantine will make the transition easier on everyone!

How can I keep my dog happy without as many walks?

There are lots of ways in which you can keep your dog happy and less stressed, even if their normal walk routine has to change for the short-term. For example, dogs use their sense of smell to gather information from around their surroundings. Just letting them have a really good sniff when out on walks can provide a great source of mental stimulation. Simply taking your time with your walks will help keep your dog happy despite walks being less frequent for a few weeks!

There are also lots of games that you can play in your home that will keep your dog entertained. Why not check out our 8 simple DIY loo roll games to keep your pets entertained during Coronavirus self-isolation?

6 dog games to keep your dog entertained at home indoors

Mental stimulation is a great way to keep your dog entertained and occupied. Games will keep your dog happy by replacing exercise with other activities until you're able to take your pooch back out for their usual walks. Why not keep your dog busy with these simple activities?

  1. Try challenging your pooch at tea time - ditch the food bowl and feed Fido using a Kong or a food puzzle to get them thinking. 
  2. Play, play, play! Most dogs love to play, so set aside some time to have a good game of fetch or tug with your pooch. 
  3. Learning a new trick or command is great mental stimulation for a dog. Get out their favourite treats and try teaching your dog how to wave his paw, 'sit', 'lie down', or 'roll-over'.
  4. Get him sniffing - scent work can be a great way to keep your dog busy for ages! Hide treats around the garden or around the house and send your pooch off in search of them. If you feed your dog kibble, this can be a great way to serve them their meals!
  5. Remember toilet breaks - your dog will still need to go outside to use the toilet, so make sure that they get regular access to the garden to potter, sniff and wee.
  6. Spotify has a 'My Dog's Favourite Podcast' which has a range of carefully selected spoken word, sound and original music designed to encourage relaxation. It doesn't get easier than that!

Read our latest coronavirus updates, including how the pandemic can affect your pet's behaviour.

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