Black and white cocker spaniel with football in her mouth in the garden on a sunny day

Roadmap out of lockdown for dog owners

This advice is based on the government’s roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions. It therefore depends on England meeting certain criteria, as set by the government, that will make it safe to proceed to the next stage and date of lockdown restrictions easing.

What can I do with my dog after 29 March 2021?

After months of waiting, we can finally meet with others and have people over. The official government guidelines state that up to six people or two households can meet outdoors in England in a socially distanced manner – this includes private gardens. 

Visitors and dogs

With lockdown restrictions lifting, our dogs may be spending more time with us in the garden and they might need to get used to visitors again. You can give them a helping hand by asking your friends and family to greet them in a dog-friendly way. And making your garden more dog-friendly will encourage them to explore the garden more, so that you can relax knowing they are safe and happy.

Dog walks

If you’re looking to get out and about to explore the countryside or your city a little more, then you’ll be happy to hear that the ‘stay at home’ message will end post 29 March 2021.

We have some great walks that you can enjoy this spring – though be sure to take care when your dog is around livestock where they’ll need to be on lead. 

It’s always a good idea to keep your dog on lead in new places until you can figure out your surroundings and know that it’s safe. We have some great advice on off lead and on lead etiquette, as well as what to look out for on your adventures.

Groomers

If your pooch is in desperate need of a haircut, much like the rest of us, then you’ll be pleased to know that from 29 March groomers will be able to accept all dogs by appointment. 

For some, this may be the first time your dog has been to the groomers, so we have some great advice on finding the right groomer for you.

What can I do with my dog after 12 April 2021?

Self-contained staycations

For those needing to recharge, self-contained accommodation (where you have access to your own facilities ie not shared toilets) will be available to book from 12 April 2021. Some of these may be dog friendly, however others may not be. 

If your dog can’t come this time around, don’t panic – there are lots of options for them. These include staying with family, friends, a pet sitter or boarding kennels. Always do your research first and make sure you’re leaving them with someone you trust, where you know your dog will be happy.

Pubs

As England opens back up, many will head to the pub. Pubs will be open to serve in an outdoor setting ie the beer garden. 

Lots of pubs are dog-friendly, but be sure to check before you go. Dogs will need to be kept on lead for both hygiene purposes and to allow others to enjoy the beer garden. If it’s a hot day, make sure there is shade and water available for them and look out for any signs of heatstroke.

What can I do with my dog after 17 May 2021?

Events and activities

Larger events of up to 1,000 people or half the capacity of the venue (whichever is smaller) will be allowed to go ahead.

While this is exciting for us (hail festivals and summer vibes!), your dog will have gotten used to you being around a lot more over the last year. Some dogs may show signs of separation anxiety – so, it’s a good idea to start preparing them for being left alone.

Campsites and other staycations

For those campers out there, you’ll be excited to know that campsites and any other holiday lets are now able to reopen. Many are dog-friendly, which means our dogs can enjoy camping alongside us too!

If you’re thinking of taking the train to your holiday destination, we have some great advice on the rules around train travel with your dog.

What can I do with my dog after 21 June 2021?

The government are hoping that by 21 June 2021, all social contact restrictions can be lifted. 

Travel abroad

Thinking of jetting off for a summer vacation with your pooch? Here are the new rules around travel to Europe with your dog post-Brexit.

Travel within the UK

If staying put and exploring the UK is more your bag, then we have some great dog-friendly beach walks that you can enjoy with your pooch this summer.

Whether it’s a day trip or a staycation, the weather will be very warm, so be careful travelling with your dog in the heat.

Dogs at weddings

With many weddings being postponed last year, the government will be revisiting the guidelines and evaluating whether weddings will be able to take place in a non-social distanced way. 

If the government give the all clear, then some may be considering including their dogs in their weddings. We have advice on how to make your wedding as enjoyable as possible for both you and your dog.

— Page last updated 26/03/2021

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