Do keep your dog in sight and think of other visitors
If you can see your dog, you can see what it’s up to and make sure it’s safe! Be aware that some people are frightened of dogs. Please ask before you let your dog approach other people, train them not to jump up and to have a good recall. This will help to keep your dog safe near roads and other dangers too.
Do prevent your dog from chasing wildlife or grazing animals
Always keep your dog at heel or on the lead near wildlife or livestock. It’s unlikely that you or your pet will be chased by livestock, but if you are, let your dog off the lead so you can both get away.
Do protect nesting and feeding birds on heaths, dunes and wetlands
We are lucky to share our wild spaces with some really special and rare birds. Some build their nests on the ground on heathland, whilst others feed on eel grass and small creatures in the mud in the estuaries. Check before you visit to find out any local seasonal restrictions.
Do Bag It and Bin It… wherever you are
Clearing up after your dog helps to prevent the spread of diseases that can affect dogs, people and grazing animals. It also keeps the site clean for other visitors. Remember any public litter bin can be used for bagged dog waste.
Dog poo in heathland and dune habitats is like adding fertiliser to your garden, allowing more competitive plants to flourish and preventing essential rare plants from growing. If these rare plants disappear, the animals and birds that rely on them will disappear too. Poo from grazing animals doesn’t have the same effect as these animals are recycling existing nutrients, not bringing in new ones.
Do read and follow signs and notice boards
We know your dog can’t read, so please do it for them! Get into the habit of reading signs and notice boards to find out local information including seasonal restrictions, safety warnings, presence of livestock or highly sensitive wildlife and information on local events and volunteering opportunities.
Do limit the number of dogs that you walk
Some areas have legal restrictions on the number of dogs that one person can be responsible for out on a walk. In East Devon and Teignbridge this number is 6. Please make sure that every dog in your care is following the Four Paws Code. Your daily walk should be safe and fun for you and your dogs and it shouldn’t have a negative effect on the environment or other visitors.
Do join Devon Loves Dogs – become a member today!
Thanks for reading the Four Paws Code, if you agree with our way of thinking join Devon Loves Dogs today and get your FREE welcome pack.