The Pet Industry Federation (PIF) has today announced details of a new code of practice for professional dog walkers which has been developed in collaboration with Dogs Trust and RSPCA.


Professional dog walking is becoming an increasingly common service due to the changing habits of the general population and a heightened awareness of animal welfare. The code aims to provide guidelines that professional dog walkers should conform to, ensuring the highest standards of welfare to the dog and with respect to the environment, as well as peace of mind to the owner.


The comprehensive ten-page code of practice is designed to provide dog walkers with guidance that will help them comply with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It covers issues such as the health and welfare of dogs, in particular:


• Understanding each individual dog’s needs
• Transport
• Exercise
• Group walking


The code also covers the professional conduct of dog walkers, with regard to their impact on other animals and the environment; as well as the various pieces of legislation that they need to consider in order to comply with the law and qualifications they might like to consider undertaking.


The code of practice will be published shortly and its use will be promoted to dog walking businesses, local authorities, DEFRA, welfare groups and the pet owning public.