To be sure of a hassle-free hike, always abide by the following tips when walking your companion:
- Go prepared. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing and are prepared for the weather conditions. Wear sensible, non-slip shoes and make sure you and your dog are easy to spot in darker conditions by top-tips-for-thrilling-walks_largewearing high-visibility clothing. In very cold weather, consider a coat for your dog as well as yourself.
- Be a responsible dog walker. Follow the Countryside Code when out and about with your dog. Ensure you control your companion so that farm animals and wildlife are never disturbed and always pick up dog mess. Observe all signs about where dogs must be kept on a lead and where access is only seasonal – these are common on many beaches.,/li>
- Give your healthy dog at least one walk per day. If your pet is unwell, confirm how often to walk them with your vet first. If you’re thinking of taking your pet on a long trail, make sure your companion is fit enough to do it, check with your vet if you are unsure.
- Protect your dog and others. Make sure you regularly worm your dog and apply flea and tick prevention controls.
- Provide for your dog. Carry a supply of water and a bowl for your dog to have a drink and take plenty of plastic bags for dog mess.
- Always keep your dog on a lead in public places. This also includes around any traffic, cyclists or horse-riders. Don’t allow your dog to run up to others when off the lead as some are very frightened of boisterous canines (especially younger children).
- Play with your dog on walks. This is a great opportunity to get in some extra training and encourages your pet’s creativity. Games can also be used to help recall your dog when off the lead. Reward prompt responses with a treat. Remember, however, never to throw sticks for your dog, as they can cause very serious injuries to the mouth, head and neck.
- And finally, remember that it is a legal requirement for your dog to have an ID tag on its collar when out and about. The tag should include details of the owner’s name and full address including postcode. We also recommend putting your telephone number on there (preferably a mobile number!). It is also a good idea to get your pet micro-chipped and from April 2016 this will also become a legal requirement in England.