A career as a professional dog walker provides you with a certain amount of freedom in that you can often work where you like, when you like and for whom you do business with. However, with local councils recently completing consultations on new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), the restrictions are growing tighter.
The vast majority of responsible dog owners and walkers will not need reminding about the importance of maintaining control over the canines in their care. However, there are certain things that do require extra consideration.
PSPOs replaced Dog Control Orders at the start of 2017, tasked with protecting public spaces, as the name suggests. The orders included a large number of proposed restrictions on dogs in local areas.
Many are still in the consultation period, but a few new laws and regulations are already in place.
For example, Gosport Borough Council in Hampshire, have recently implemented a change which means dog walkers are now only allowed to walk a maximum of four dogs at any one time.
A number of other local authorities are considering a similar change, including in Gateshead, which would see the maximum number of dogs allowed reduced by two.
Protectivity’s pet business insurance policy allows dog walkers to take six pooches out at any one time. However, with these new restrictions in place, we are urging our walkers to take note of local laws.
Failure to stick to them could see walkers hit with a £100 on-the-spot fine.
As well as the maximum dog rule, a large number of councils have added new dog-free zones to their boroughs, where the same level of fine can be dished out.
If the Fixed Penalty Notice was deemed insufficient punishment, a court case could ensue. A guilty verdict there could see a fine of £1,000 handed down to the dog walker in question.
A handful of beaches, previously popular with dog walkers in Cornwall were among the new restricted zones. Further stretches of coastline in Devon and Dorset could also be added to the list in the near future.
Many of the areas that dogs are banned from are common sense, with children’s playgrounds largely no-go zones for canines. However, it is worth checking with your local council if there are any other parts of town that are not suitable for a morning or evening stroll.
The coming months will see many more PSPOs come into effect around the country. With that in mind, it is worth keeping an eye out for routes that will be out of bounds in your local area.
If you’re a professional dog walker it’s important to have comprehensive cover in place if the worst were to happen. Protect yourself and your canine clients with our dog walking insurance today.