STROUD District Council’s Animal Welfare team has launched a professional dog walkers’ code of conduct in response to the growing number of people providing this service.
The code will act as a framework of best practice for paid dog walkers, who can have their details added to the council’s website.
Dog owners will be able to check those businesses which have signed the code of conduct before employing a dog walker.
“We’ve noticed a significant rise in the number of professional dog walkers in the district, yet there are no regulations for this service,” said Alex Myrie, Stroud District Council’s animal welfare officer.
“Most people see their dog as a member of the family, and should be able to know which dog walkers agrees to high standards of animal welfare.”
The comprehensive code covers a dog walker’s responsibilities to clearing up dog mess, having appropriate insurance and ensuring that vehicles used to transport dogs have adequate ventilation, among others.
Dog walkers who choose to sign up to the voluntary code of conduct can do so by completing a form available on the SDC website.
Once they have agreed to the terms their details will be on public view on the council’s website.
New animal licensing laws were introduced in October last year which regulate cat and dog boarding, but do not cover dog walkers.
Simon Pickering, chair of Stroud District Council’s Environment Committee said: “People lead increasingly busy lives and rely on services like dog walkers to help them. I would urge every professional dog walker in the district to sign the code and ensure they follow it, and dog owners to check their dog walkers are on the list.”
For more information see stroud.gov.uk/dogcode