What could be more relaxing than walking your dog in the countryside, especially on a warm Spring day. The world starts to come alive again, which means new smells and the sound of birds busily preparing their nests. It’s a wonderful time for you and your dog to make the most of the milder climate and get out exploring. With this in mind, we have compiled a short list of things to remember when walking your dog in the countryside.
Countryside Etiquette For Walking Your Dog:
1) Be respectful of signs
In the countryside not all land is public land, but some private land does have public access. Look out for signs indicating Public Footpaths and stick to them, keeping your dog by your side at all times.
2) Beware Livestock
If you are using a public right of way through farmland with livestock, make sure your dog is on a lead at all times, even if your dog is well trained. Pregnant animals and those with young ones are more protective than usual and therefore may see your dog as a threat. Also, it is an offence for dogs to chase livestock. Farmers are legally allowed to shoot any dog they think may be worrying their animals. Stick to the designated footpaths to refrain from trespassing and keep your dog by your side at all times.
3) Pick it Up
When your dog poos on his walks, always pick it up wherever you are and put it in the nearest bin. Even in the muddy countryside it is not nice to step in poo. If your dog does his business in long grass of course there isn’t much you can do, but if it’s on a public path, do pick it up. The same goes for any litter you may have. We should cherish the beauty of the country! A biodegradable bag is our preferred poo bag option as it has a less negative impact on the environment.
4) Horse Riders
It isn’t just dogs and their owners who enjoy the countryside in Springtime, as horses and riders enjoying a leisurely hack are also a regular sight. Be respectful and keep your dog on a lead as the horses pass. Even if your dog is well behaved around horses, not all horses are used to dogs. It’s polite to give the riders plenty of room and listen for their instruction; if they ask you to wait whilst they pass, they are thinking of your safety as much as their own. Be patient, be polite and say hello… you may just end up having a friendly chat!
5) Enjoy Walking your Dog in the Countryside
The Countryside is full of an abundance of life and characters, especially as spring arrives and the weather becomes warmer. Be aware of your surroundings when out dog walking and be respectful of the people and animals you come across. We should all, human and animal alike, have the chance to enjoy this beautiful time of year!