Around 12 million of us in the UK have a dog, and with so many of us Brits holidaying within the UK it only seems fair that our dogs come along for the ride as well. Suffolk is a beautiful county and a great place for people and their four-legged friends. With 50 miles of coastline, stunnings walks and a variety of wildlife to soak up there is so much to enjoy. If you’re not a Suffolk resident you are sure to make a return trip. In order to make sure everyone gets the most of a visit (people and dogs alike), we have a few top tips that are sure to get tails wagging.
Dog Poo - Bag It & Bin It
Let’s get the elephant in the room dealt with first. Walkies for our beloved hounds are an opportunity for them to go and do their business - but there isn’t much worse than going out for a walk and narrowly avoiding stepping in a pile of you know what. Clearing up after our dogs is an important responsibility and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. We need to keep our countryside clean for everyone, and clearing up dog poo helps stop the spread of parasites and diseases. Make sure you take a couple of bags with you when you head out for a walk and stick to the motto of bag it and bin it.
Go Get Your Lead!
If your dog is anything like mine, he knows it’s time for a walk when the lead comes out. He’ll often carry it about, and I imagine he would quite happily take himself for a walk if I left him to it. As well trained as your dog might be, it’s wise to always have a lead on hand when you’re talking your dog for a walk. There are plenty of routes you can take so that you can let your dog off the lead so they can have a good run round, but you never can be too careful.
Please be considerate of other people - not everyone is a dog lover and as excited as your dog might be at the chance to make a new friend, some people won’t feel the same. If you happen to encounter another dog walker, their dog might be nervous so a lead is the best way to keep everyone happy. Livestock as well can provide a problem - there’s a whole paragraph on this below.
Don’t Liven Up The Livestock
It’s a sad fact, but dogs kill livestock. Not so much wolves mauling sheep in the dark of night - but dogs can attack animals, and chase and distress them. The countryside belongs to everyone, and it’s important we respect the wildlife that lives there. If you’re out walking and you see cows or sheep or pigs, be sure to put your dog on a lead. Even if you have the most well behaved dog on the planet, you can’t predict how other animals will act. Try, if possible, to keep yourself between livestock and your dog, and remain calm and quiet. If livestock chase you let your dog off the lead. This might help distract the livestock from chasing you, then call your dog back once you have reached safety.
Water, Water Everywhere
Make sure you take water with you, especially if you’re walking out in hot weather or if you’re going out for seriously long walk. It’s important to stay hydrated, and that goes for your pooch as well.
It’s A Sign
You are bound to encounter numerous signs on a walk in the countryside - several of which pertain to dog walkers. During certain times of the year, typically March to July, some areas will have designated quiet times. This is to help protect nesting birds during their breeding season, and you should keep your dog on a lead in these areas in order to minimise disturbance to the birds. Some walking routes might coincide with bridleways and it is best to keep your dog on a lead during these routes as well. You will also come across signs which indicate whether or not your dogs needs to be on a lead, so do keep an eye out while you are out walking.
Watch That Dog!
Do your best to keep an eye on your dog. We’ve all suffered that heart wrenching moment when our dog disappears for a minute more than you’d like, only for them to pop up again without a care in the world. We advise you keep as close an eye on your pooch as possible, and to make sure you undertake the proper steps for if your dog does get lost. Microchipping is the best way to safeguard your dog, as is a collar with your dog’s name and your contact information so you can be reunited.