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Dogs in the Countryside

Canine & Co’s Outdoors checklists

We at Canine & Co take our responsibilities for our fellow humans, dog welfare and the countryside seriously. We passionately believe in the Respect, Protect and Enjoy principle. To this end we have attempted to summarise the key risks, responsible behaviours and list what clothing and equipment you might consider when out in the Countryside with your dog. However, the ultimately responsibility for the dog and it’s behaviour is with you the Owner.  

Top 5 risks of Dogs in the Countryside.

When in the Countryside, dogs simply doing what dogs do are at risk of getting  

1. Lost
2. Poisoned, injured or be exposed to infection
3. Shot or put down under court order.

Badly behaved humans who can’t control their dogs in Countryside are equally at risk of being

4. Sued for 3rd party injury or damage.
5. Banned from keeping dogs. 

6 Simple rules for well-behaved humans to keep their dogs safe and have fun outdoors!

1. Be mindful and realistic of breed , fitness and health when planning a walk or hike.
2. Ensure their dog is regularly wormed and vaccinated.
3. Ensure that their dogs do not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife (particularly nesting birds) or damage the landscape
4. Exercise control of their dog around strangers, particularly children.
5. Keep the dog in line of sight when roaming free
6. Avoid heatstroke by making sure their dog gets plenty of shade and clean, cool water.

6 Essentials for both short walks and long hikes.

1. An Identity tag – despite best efforts, dogs can run off and get lost!
2. A Suitable Leash – essential for control. City and dress leads don’t work as well!
3. Water in bottle with drinking vessel – water in puddles, ponds or rivers can be contaminated.
4. Doggie Treats – for that energy burst or to reinforce that obedience call.
5. Poop Bags - Use the poop bins provided or bury 200 yds from path, preferably bio-degradable bags.
6. Toy – sticks can cause all kinds of injury and infection.

8 Options for Longer Hikes

1. High visibility gear – keep in line of sight when roaming free and when darkness falls
2. Bug protection vest, bandana or digital alarm – avoid the risk of infection and disease
3. A Wind and / or Water proof jacket – how reliable is that weather forecast – really!
4. Cooling Clothing for when it get’s hot -  during and at the end of the hike.
5. Life Jacket – dogs tire when swimming quickly under the added weight of wet hair and when in strong currents.
6. Shoes - country terrain cuts up paw pads – the ground can be rough with stones, sand, icy, salty, hot.
7. First Aid Kit (and address of local vets / dog warden) – accidents happen, be prepared.
8. Dog Hike bags – but remember dogs should not carry more than 25%  of their body weight.
If driving to the start of the walk / hike:

        1. Ensure your dog has a safe & secure place to sit in the car. Use a restrainer as necessary.
2. Cover the car seat / boot floor with a cover – keep off the mud, dirt and damp and kill the bugs.
3. If leaving the dog in the car for any length of time - park in the shade, provide plenty of ventilation and water, and check on the dog  regularly.

 After the Country Walk / Hike

1. Bath the dog – wash off the dirt and bugs.
2. Paw Care – sand and rough ground will injure paws not used to the terrain and risk infection.

Further Information


Canine & Co  have collated these authoritative documents which you can read and download


Country Code – England & Wales

Country Code - Scotland

Forestry Commission Code:$FILE/eng-dogs-CCW-dogownerbooklet-English-05.pdf


Kennel Club : Countryside Code:

Bluecross Code: 

















Published in: A Dog's Life  |  19 Feb 2017