Updated regulations for dog owners

We have a result. Following the plea on this blog yesterday for the needs of dogs who live in flats to be taken into account, this morning the Scottish Government issued updated regulations relating to those of us who own or are responsible for animals. The upshot is that it’s now accepted that taking a dog out to do the toilet is accepted as a valid reason for going outside if you do not have access to a garden. Of course you must maintain social distancing, remain at least two metres away from anyone else, and wash your hands upon your return home.

This may seem a trivial issue to many during this crisis, but to dog owners, especially dog owners who live in flats, not being able to take your dog out for the toilet without having to worry about being stopped by the police was a very big deal.  The National was the only Scottish newspaper to take up the issue, and published a story about it in today’s edition – in which I am quoted. https://www.thenational.scot/news/18341384.can-dog-go-pee/

I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has listened to our concerns and acted so promptly.

I will copy out the new regulations in full below.  They were published on the Scottish Government website at this URL:

Advice to owners of companion animals and livestock who may be required to self-isolate as part of government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Published: 28 Mar 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice to owners of companion animals and livestock

Dog walking and Social Distancing

Q. What are the rules for walking dogs now everyone is only allowed out for exercise once per day?

A. It is accepted that dogs may need to be taken out more than once per day if they do not have access to a garden or other area to toilet. This must be done following the guidance on social distancing so that you do not come within 2 metres of other people and wash your hands after returning.


Q. Are there any extra precautions for animals in shielding households (where people are in the high risk category)?

A. The advice for self-isolating households also applies. If you have arrangements for others to walk your dog, particular care should be taken to avoid them entering your home unless absolutely essential.

Self Isolation

Q. Can I walk dogs or look after other pets for people who are ill or self-isolating as they may have Covid-19?

A. This is permitted – where practical pets should be cared for away from their home for the isolation period so that repeated visits are avoided. Strict social distancing should be followed when pets are collected or returned so you avoid coming within 2 metres of the people self-isolating and wash your hands afterwards. You should only enter their home if absolutely necessary and stay for as short a time as possible. Dogs from self-isolating households should be kept on a lead and contact avoided             with other people and animals if being walked in public.

Q. Are there any precautions for pets or other animals in self-isolating households?

A. There have not been any reports of companion or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 and currently there is no evidence that they play a significant role in this human disease. It is recommended that those who have COVID-19 or are displaying symptoms, adopt the hygiene measures above when handling their pets.

When handling and caring for animals, good hygiene measures should always be implemented. Dogs from self-isolating households should be kept on a lead and contact avoided with other people and animals if being walked in public.

People under self-isolation who are responsible for the care of any animals, including horses and livestock, must ensure the animals continue to be cared for during the period of self-isolation. Wherever possible arrangements should be made in advance with friends family or neighbours that can be put in place should the need arise.

Q.  I am in self isolation. Where can I go for help or advice on caring for my animals?

If you are too unwell to care for your animals and do not have anyone near-by who can help, for further advice and support please phone:


Q. Is it an essential journey to travel to care for animals away from my home like relatives’ pets, horses in stables or animals in rescue centres?

A. Journeys to feed or provide other essential care for animals are acceptable. These should be done in a way that follows the guidance on social distancing so that you do not come within 2 metres of people who are not part of your household and wash your hands after returning. You should if possible make arrangements to share the care of animals at stables etc and minimise the number of people who need to visit each day.


Q.  Is there a COVID-19 risk from domestic animals or livestock?

A. There is no evidence that companion animals such as dogs and cats, or livestock can be infected with COVID-19. There is no evidence that they become ill as a result of COVID-19.

Q. Are there any precautions to take with live animals or animal products?

A. General hygiene measures should be applied. These include regular hand washing with soap and water after touching animals and animal products, as well as avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth until hands have been thoroughly washed.

As per general good food safety practices, raw meat and dairy products should be handled with care. Meat from healthy livestock that is cooked thoroughly remains safe to eat.

Q. Can boarding kennels and catteries remain open?

A. Boarding kennels and catteries can provide a valuable service caring for pets of    essential workers and those who become seriously ill and have no-one else to look   after their pet. They may remain open for these purposes if they follow the guidance   on social distancing for their staff and owners when animals arrive or are collected.

Q. Can I still take my pet to the vets?

A. Vets will continue to provide emergency services. You should contact your vet before travelling to check that a visit is essential and their arrangements for social distancing at the surgery.


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63 thoughts on “Updated regulations for dog owners

  1. Sorry to be OT so early.

    After the UK health secretary making his appeal to manufacturers to make ventilators and stating that the UK would buy as many as they can produce Gtech went ahead and developed a protoptype. They have now been told that their ventilator is not wanted by the UK. Yes that’s right the UK gov does not want them from Worcestershire in the heart of England but have stated they are getting them from Dyson from Singapore. Anyone think that the fact that Dyson is a member of the Conservative party and also a lage donor to Tory funds may be a factor here. Dyson of course is also a Brexiteer.

    Gtech have said they will continue with production and try and help other countries, in particular, poorer countries.

    I know which company I would buy a product from in future and it ain’t Dyson.

    • Gtech have the same problem as Dyson aside differences in production capabilities, testing, certification and approval, over a year plus to obtain. Likely Dyson would get round that under “emergency powers’ from his buddies, but he still has to tool up the production line, and subcontracted parts to obtain, so it is all going to be too late for the immediate crisis anyway…
      Horton of the Lancet summarised it best, 11 weeks ago it was already too late, the time wasted since borders on the criminal…..
      Ireland have IIRC a substantial chunk of EU production in Europe for ventilators along with Drager in Germany etc. etc, Scotland doesn’t have the same anti-EU mindset, Phillipa Whitford indeed asked the question on rejecting the EU-Initiative, what about us?
      We have been infected deliberately under Tory policy, our only answer until now has been as SG rolled out within their narrow powers… Not overloading ICUs and ventilator numbers is our immediate objective, continued vigilance and SG’s testing programme CAN make that possible…

      As an aside, Romania shifted from distancing and sterilising to lockdown on Monday evening, over 65s confined to home, restrictions (medical, shopping, essential workers) on the all rest.
      On per million population rates, deaths and cases are UK 15/252 Romania 2/91, Italy 66/1,529, Spain 128/1,566…
      I fully expect England to eclipse Italy and Spain’s tragedy, let’s not join them…

  2. A wee girl just went down the street with her cat in a lead! The world is changing. Good to see the government has seen sense.

  3. Thanks Paul’s we have a tiny garden, two doggy poo,s and its full. And the crazy thing is we would still have to leave home to go to doggy poo bin,
    We usually try to get our daily exercise and take the dog with us, this cuts back on the amount of times we go out, we have asked permission from a farmer first before just using his land in case he is self isolating. His field is not near any houses. And this saves us driving for miles, Common sense and respect at all times,

  4. Well done, good to see this quick response. Also rules about other animals as well.

    Nomality seems such a weird concept now. In as much as anything can be normal.

  5. Paul ,Good to see your concerns over yer dug have possibly been answered .

    On a lighter note Jack the imperial arse wipe is apparently feeling unwell , oh dear how sad eh , it’s now been discovered the Virus can indeed transfer from Animals to vegetables , and a bigger vegetable representing Scotland has yet to be discovered , possibly its a good thing he is so close to the border because then he will be close to his ain folk , maybe he will bump into Charlie on their way to safer parts , these arse wipes might be out of sight but after this mess folk will remember

  6. Excellent WGD.
    I no longer have a dog but, if I had had, I would just have been a law breaker, because what else could I have done?
    It was obvious in the supermarkets that caring pet owners have OF COURSE been stock piling for their pets too!
    (Mind you dogs pretty well eat anything……unlike cats!!!!)

    • Ginger won’t eat pretty well anything. He’s really fussy. Get him a brand of dog food he doesn’t like he lets out a big sigh, gives you a really dirty look, and walks away and leaves it.

      I swear to god that dog once even turned down a doggy treat in favour of a photo opportunity.

      • Ginger is a character and he’s quite right. He, like my sister’s cat, has got you well trained! Unless it’s the most expensive cat food on the market liberally sprinkled with cat treats, well it is poison.

  7. It’s sad that ordinary decent people that are known to neighbours for years are getting hounded from doing their usual business 🙁

  8. So glad that I’m allowed to walk Dougal, I have a small garden but he’s a high energy dog (JRT) and needs his walks.

  9. I urge any new viewers on here stop and think for a second , This is directed at the would be Nazies & Fascists out there, Wind your necks in , most people just now have more on their minds than going out and harassing folk either exercising themselves or maybe their pets so for christs sake leave them alone ,

    A funny thing yesterday while waiting in the long long queue to collect precipitations a woman behind me , must have been about 10 – 12 or so feet behind , I was watching her fastidiously keeping this distance , being a bit bored I thought I would move back a bit when she wasn’t looking , when she turned round God the look of horror on her face was priceless , reverse gear was selected immediately so making the gap between the ones behind her almost non existent , sorry folks you can’t live your life in this Panic mode , by all means observe the recommended distance and pay attention to personal hygiene but ffs get a grip you will go nuts if you keep this up for weeks on end, by the way all during this episode I made sure the required distance was observed, that’s for the benefit of the Tut Tut brigade who seem to be out in force and making sure everyone knows their opinion , maybe it would be better if these nuts stayed the f/k out of everybody’s way , if they want to add to the obvious panic some folk feel just now stay home .

    • I wish he would self permanently and without access to phone or video connection to the media too. Things are bad when I would rather have David Mundell back than moron Mr Jack

    • Mixed responses from Scots to this news, ranging from “will anybody notice a difference?” to “Who?”….

  10. Their all self isolating just in time to be out of harms way when everything goes belly up,
    You know some people have had no money, no wages, no pensions, no universal credit, no immediate help for the self employed, food banks closing, rent problems, no school dinners for their kids, and austerity, now coronaviras and not being allowed out side most of the time, why do think that the main leaders are suddenly bunkering down and going into hiding leaving crazy police to drone us.lets hope our own government wakes up to the ticking time bomb sooner than later.

  11. Balachullish is leading the way in Scotland with great practical community spirit and logic, let us all follow their lead and protect the people of Scotland, even channel 4 has run the story.😀

    • I suspect there are many similar community initiatives, but it was indeed a superb exposee of Ballachullish working together etc…
      Prof Robertson did a belter of a blog on it to highlight that English based broadcasters are reporting good stories, while BBC Scotland sit on their hands until a negative angle for SNP or SG is able to be developed. Your “national” broadcaster….

      • I am glad he noticed my post about it and the special coronavirus centres, both covered on CH4 news, and gave them greater exposure

      • Great news about the go walkies issue, Paul, plus some lovely doggie photographs and video from Molly.


        What do you make of that?

        ‘SNP warn loss of BBC Scotland bulletin is ‘concerning’ amid crisis.’

        ”BBC Scotland’s decision to stop its TV breakfast bulletins from next week is “concerning”, according to the SNP’s media spokesperson. John Nicolson warned that the move, coming amid the coronavirus pandemic, “highlights the need for more Scotland-based voices to appear” on the broadcaster’s programmes more frequently.

        The BBC revealed yesterday that it would be stopping the morning bulletin temporarily as it needs to be “realistic” about its resources and demands on its teams amid the coronavirus outbreak. The announcement was met with frustration on Twitter.”..



        Probably better off without them!


        • Petra,

          It’s endemic. The don’t care two jots for the so-called Celtic Fringe.


          Obviously Scotland and Wales don’t exist until afternoons, now.

          “The BBC has been criticised after announcing that breakfast news bulletins from BBC Wales would no longer be shown on BBC One.

          Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said the decision was “shocking” and needed to be “overturned immediately.

          “The announcement that breakfast news bulletins from Wales will no longer be included on BBC One Wales is shocking,” Adam Price said.

          “The lack of coverage of our country by British broadcasters is already an issue without this during the COVID-19 crisis. The decision needs to be overturned immediately.”

  12. Well done, Paul, for pointing out this issue and getting quick action. Don’t have a dog myself, but appreciate the concern there must have been for those that do.
    Thanks to our Scottish Government for excellent and quick response.

  13. A bit uneasy of the Ballachuilish story. Came over a bit like vigilantes get out of my town type. I can understand the rational to this but should one of the locals take unwell can a Glasgow hospital say sorry your not from around here, stop using our resources. A bit like Camilla and Charles in reverse.

    • I think the report on CH4 news mentioned patients going to the hospital in Fort William. The hospital undertakes major surgery therefore has a high dependency unit which could in this situation be scaled up to ICU standard. It would certainly be closer than Glasgow but if required patients could be transferred to a Glasgow hospital by air ambulance.

  14. Ot ..
    Just watching an update on bbc tv re the new Florence Nightingale hospital ( a big shed with distancing between patients to be). As I understand this hospital will not deal with intensive care but happy to be corrected.
    Can we assume the contractors who did this with army can now resolve the issues with the new builds in Scotland or must we endure lengthy legal delays as some contractors spend time possibly blaming the subcontractors of the subcontractors. For the Edinburgh hospital we are told it is unsafe. What does this really mean? The building will fall down due to construction mistakes (the school in Dumfries comes to mind) or are there technical issues with equipment such as ventilation and filter systems? We should have clarity or do I mean honesty

    • The ExCel complex has a bulk oxygen tank and mortuary incorporated so an ICU for sure. They have called out to the rest of the NHS for help staffing it, so are now fire-fighting what could have been brought under controlled burn months ago….

      The new-builds have operational problems hence not handed over, and caught up in contract difficulties so not a practicable solution…

      There are plenty of serviceable buildings which can be rapidly modified to serve as field hospitals by the army as and when they are needed, but staffing and kit are an issue if that decision is made… The kit is coming in just in case…

  15. This is an excellent post by Mr Shigemitsu on Craig Murray’s blog. Given the interest here regarding Modern Monetary Theory in recent weeks, I’ve copied it in full. Worth a read.

    “If the UK is to emerge from the crisis, and avoid the Tory Government using it as an excuse to double down on austerity, post-Covid-19, then it’s imperative that people wise up to MMT – Modern Monetary Theory, and pretty fast.

    If there was ever a demonstration that its interpretation of the money creation process in the UK is correct, this crisis has proved it. Sunak was able to promise billions upon billions of pounds of extra-ordinary public spending, without even the pretence of needing to raise taxes from the population in advance. Yet this is the deceit that they maintain at all other times.

    Mutterings have been made about how this sudden and incredible government largesse would be “paid for”, and the supposed answer, “borrowing”, was seen to be half-heartedly mooted by commentators, both on TV and in print. But it was never quite explained precisely who it was who would be doing the lending! The private sector is in tatters as a result of this crisis; they’re pleading with the government for massive bailouts themselves! And are certainly not in any position whatsoever to lend money to anyone!

    Fortunately, the reality is that they don’t need to. HM Government is the monopoly creator of the currency, and does not need to “borrow” a single penny in order to spend. Why would it? It’s easy for the govt-owned BoE to create money, it does it every day whenever the government spends into the economy – a simple keyboard stroke that adds pounds to the BoE reserve account of Dyson’s bank, and all those ventilators are paid for. Another to buy a further £200bn of Gilts on the secondary market. A third to provision the contents of the converted Excel “hospital”, a fourth to pay the 80% of furloughed workers’ salaries that Sunak promised… it’s so easy, its almost obscene!

    And, as each of those initial and subsequent transactions circulates around the economy, they will be taxed, in the normal way (VAT, Income Tax, NI, Duties, etc) until, at any positive tax rate, in an ever-declining geometric regression, every single penny of that extra spending that Sunak carried out will be returned to the Exchequer – where, in an opposite, reserve-drain operation at the BoE, it’s removed from circulation, and effectively destroyed. That’s almost obscene too, and yet that’s exactly what happens – each and every day.

    The only currency that won’t be subject to taxation will be any that is saved – and that will show up as ‘The Deficit’!!! Shock horror! But so, what? It’s the people’s savings. So, the only budget deficit that will result from all of Sunak’s ‘generosity’ will be our savings. No big deal, once they get spent, they’ll be taxed in the normal way, and “The Deficit” (= our savings) will subside accordingly.

    Importantly, the only reason that any *extra* taxation, or cuts in public spending, might need to occur, post-Covid-19 crisis, is if there are too few goods and services in the economy to absorb the extra spending that has occured – leading to inflation and overheating of the economy. Because this crisis has effected the supply side as well as the demand side, the situation is potentially more complex than in 2008, and temporary shortages *could* lead to some price increases, but as there is a demand side recession too, this could equally well balance out. Time will tell, but I wouldn’t exactly anticipate a boom, especially if people net save – there’s more likely to be a recession, requiring further increases in spending or tax cuts as a stimulus.

    In the meantime, it’s essential that we all understand this whole government spending process properly, in order to robustly counter the inevitable calls for post crisis-austerity that the Tories will subject us to. Only a true knowledge of the money creation process in the UK will allow us to resist their wheedling calls to “pay for” what has just been spent, when the reality is, it doesn’t need to be “paid for” at all.

    We will have already, automatically, paid any taxes incurred as a result of the extra transactions that take place, and some of us will have paid with our lives for the decade of Tory neglect to the NHS, that will result in higher casualties than necessary. We must certainly not be made to pay twice!”


      • A wee look back in history.
        The new Mark was created in Germany after 1929, worth a Zillion times the Old one.
        Stability restored as you get paid in new currency, only problem is savings in old currency isn’t a good idea, property and possessions with intrinsic value are the way.
        Remember FIAT money is a confidence trick, it works fine when the big ferris wheel keeps turning slowly forward with inflation under control. As long as the people at the front put on more than is being taken off at the rear, the Ponzi scheme derivative continues.

    • As treasurer if an Indy group I try to keep up with this kind of information. I find Richard Murphy’s blog helpful. Unfortunately getting the general public to believe the information is another matter. In particular the self identified “economist” who told me I had been misled. The teaching of economics in UK universities still clings to neoliberalism.

  16. On Every Single measure this Tory Government has failed ,
    They haven’t come close to adopting the proven course of action other countries are implementing,
    It was known 4 years ago the NHS in England couldn’t cope with anything near what’s going on right now ,and as usual the information was buried.

    Get “Brexit done was the mantra” and they are still doggedly following this f/n madness , and the unionist arse wipes up here in Jockland cling on for dear life to this Scabby Rotten Union .despite all the evidence that’s now emerging.

    Bawjaws is doing his bit , oh god help us all, the latest master stroke is sending millions of bloody useless leaflets that will probably be out of date when they arrive , never mind the poor bloody posties wasting time and their health delivering this junk mail because that’s what it will be classified as , Junk Mail .

    And what bleedn idiot put the Clocks forward without telling me last night. ha ha .not only do I not know what day it is I haven’t got a clue what time it is .

    Gove was on SKY News talking total shite , we know it , the presenter knows it but let’s him carry on , I hope one of them says oh f/k this tosh and says look pal yer a bloody liar now cut the crap and answer the bloody question . if only eh .

  17. These Tory morons have been selected (not natural mind you) for their ideological purity and not their ability to manage the “country”.
    Imagine the outcry from HM press if the Scottish government had turned down an offer of medical equipment from England on the basis that we don’t like them.
    We don’t but we wouldn’t.
    Hardly a peep from HM press.

  18. New panelbase poll shows 51% for SNP constituency vote and 48% SNP for regional list vote. Get the alphabet sisters and their helpers out of the SNP and put people in place who want independence not bloody saboteurs. Then put a mandate for independence in the manifesto for 2021 Scot parliament election.

    Staying in the UK doesn’t just make Scots poorer it kills Scots.

  19. I think we’re gonna need the thinking and actions of more balachullish people in the wider population of Scotland, because as I see it if we are led by the ring in our nose by Westminster a few more of us may die, and it will prolong austerity, and people out of work.
    It will cause hospitals to full capacity and more, businesses to fold, our economy will fold and a financial crisis is in the offering.
    Which side of looking after the people of Scotland first and foremost do you want to be on,
    We haven’t the ability to shut our borders, and yet I see that people from foreign country’s are travelling to ski slopes here for fun including people from Italy,
    Or some prince with Coronavirus spreading the locals with a life threatening illness,
    Or people in camper vans leaving areas with Coronavirus to travel to Scotland,
    You can die or be in lock down for up to two years, or both. If that is your choice, it should not be forced or inflicted on the rest of us,
    Imagine not being able to go outside for two years, never mind having no money, no food and no job.
    Do we follow what other country’s are doing and be vigilant, stop the flow to our towns or do we follow a prime minister that did not act quick enough and has caught the purview himself,

    • I think we could do health checks on everyone coming across our border unless they are certified as being virus free.
      It may well come to that if there is a serious disparity between England and Scotland in terms of infection rates and availability of health facilities.
      We are not yet there however.

    • We can forget about austerity, that ship sailed already no matter how hard the financial circus try to bring it back to port via the media.

      Bottom side we are probably a year away from a vaccine program when COVID will become another flu mutating (innoculations part work) annually, but with not nearly the devastating consequence on a vulnerable population as is the present.
      Top side we are a month away from partial lifting of restrictions in certain areas but vigilant for resurgence, and it will modulate or fizzle out before vaccination is available depending on how we handle fresh doses coming in.
      Meantime we follow the rules, if further constraints come from SG at least we know it is based on REAL science rather than twisted to suit a demented plan for mass euthanasia.

      This episode has surely confirmed our vulnerability as a race and reliance on our NHS, but towering above it all is the sheer malevolence and incompetence of the British State and the Tories.
      The Tories will always hold onto power over England irrespective of who is elected, but as we emerge from this episode there will be ructions across the UK, and in Scotland it will manifest as a forceful and convincing majority for Independence.

  20. James – did you not notice that the resilience group didn’t wear gloves or keep their social distancing. If they were requested to undertake their actions by the Police, local authority, NHS fair enough. They should have been trained to do it properly. If not then the small group -all men it seems dictates what goes on in that community. Signs in windows seems a good idea but it also says I am alone and vulnerable. Are helpers PVG checked? Just commenting.

  21. If we do not take initiative in the face of a crises and learn quickly from our mistakes, and encourage individuals, then you will be speaking to a lot of empty spaces on the net and webs all by yourself.
    First and foremost suggest to the people in Balachullish that perhaps it would be a good idea to where gloves and masks even if they make them themselves and wash them themselves.try not to criticise anyone yet, wait and see, who knows you or I may need people like this one day. Volunteers
    We would still live in caves if nobody tried to improve our lot. Let’s us encourage people to safely help their community, criticism can be used to block progress and as a deterrent . Or it can be used to enlighten and aid progress,

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