Professional Dog Walkers Association (PDWA) and the Law

Professional Dog Walkers Association (PDWA) advocates responsible dog handling and ownership at all times. We advise anyone involved with dog welfare, whether an owner or professional dog walker to familiarise yourself with the Law on both National and Local levels.

Rules and Regulations

The Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) website is a great source of information together with your Local Authority – Trading Standards Department and Environmental Health:

  • Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 / Dangerous Dogs Act (Amendment) 1997, 2014
  • England and Wales Animal Welfare Act, 2006, 2018
  • Scotland Animal Health and Welfare Act, 2006
  • Northern Ireland Welfare of Animal Act 2011
  • Dog Control Order
  • Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (England and Wales)
  • Highways Act 1980 (England and Wales)
  • The Highway Code
  • Land Reform Act 2003 (Scotland)
  • Scottish Outdoor Access Code
  • Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005
  • EU Regulation for transport of animals
  • Distance Selling Regulations
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookies Policy


The above Acts cover the UK as a whole, local amendments may apply in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales - check the DEFRA website to ensure compliancy. Local Authorities may have their own bye-laws governing professional dog walkers and can include, but not limited to:

Restrictions on number of dogs which can be walked at any one time especially in public areas, where you may walk your dogs, if the dogs can be walked off their leads, dog walking business license, requirement to carry identification, compliancy to code of practices, carry mini dog first aid kit.

Contact your local Dog Warden for information in your home area and any potential licencing requirements.

Familiarise and keep yourself updated with whatever rules and regulations you can and understand them! Your dogs can't!!

You will need to be familiar with distance selling regulations if you have a website advertising your services together with website use terms and conditions, privacy policy cookies policy and GDPR.

All dog walkers listed on our website agree to comply with the Professional Dog Walkers Association Best Practice Guidelines & Compliancy Code.

We are available for chat on the phone or email. Due to our working commitments please note our opening hours for telephone support.