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It’s no secret that our four-legged friends love walkies. From mental stimulation and physical exercise to encouraging their social behaviour, whatever stage of life your dog is at, there are multiple benefits of heading outdoors for a good stroll.

February 22nd marks National Walk Your Dog Day and to celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best dog walking destinations to inspire you. Grab your walking shoes, a leash, and some treats for the road, and explore the outdoors with your pooch!

Dog walking in the sun

What is National Walk Your Dog Day?

National Walk Your Dog Day is an annual awareness day dedicated to dog-walking which takes place on February 22nd! The day was created to raise awareness of the importance of walking your dog and keeping them active. The day also aims to remind pet parents that there are numerous health benefits of walking your dog regularly and, in turn, there are also a number of potential issues which could incur if your pooch isn’t walked often enough.

What are the benefits of walking your dog?

There are many benefits of walking your dog - both for you and your pup! Some of the benefits include but are not limited to:

Behaviour training

From an early age, you will begin to train your dog by teaching them the types of behaviour which are and are not acceptable. Just like humans, dogs can experience agitation and boredom. Regular walks help to aid behaviour training by allowing your dog to blow off some steam and use their energy. This can, in turn, provide stimulation which satiates your dogs appetite for adventure and play, resulting in a calmer and more obedient dog.

Bonding time

They say that a dog is a man’s best friend, and what do we do with our friends? We spend time with them! By simply walking your dog, you are providing them with the attention and interaction that they long for. This time, whether spent walking side by side or spent playing and running off-leash, is a great way for you to bond with your dog.

Family walking their spaniel

Mental stimulation

By exploring the great outdoors your dog to discover new sights, smells and sounds, providing them with mental stimulation. Exploring new surroundings is an instinctual activity for dogs, which allows them to familiarise themselves with new objects and surroundings.

Physical exercise

Whatever stage of life your dog may be at, it is important to keep them moving and keep them active. Whilst age and health conditions may play a part in how much exercise your dog requires, all dogs can benefit from going on regular walks. Not only will this help your dog blow off some steam, but walks can also help to prevent obesity and keep the joints moving.

Tip: In addition to regular exercise, you may also consider using YuMOVE, a range of premium joint supplements which help with joint stiffness, aid recovery after exercise and promote mobility.

Social interaction

Like humans, dogs are social creatures who require affection, attention and social interaction. Not only does this support their well-being and physical health but it also helps to aid in the behavioural training, ensuring that they learn how to interact with other animals and humans.

Whilst dogs will develop a relationship with their paw-rents, a lack of socialisation with other humans and dogs can trigger anxious or aggressive behaviour. Taking your dog on regular walks and allowing them to sniff, run and play will prevent your dog from feeling confused, uncomfortable or threatened when they meet someone new

The best dog walking destinations

Here in the UK, we are lucky enough to be surrounded by countryside, parks and green space. This makes for some enjoyable walking routes for both you and your dog! With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to narrow down your options.

Dog in the wilderness

TrustedHousesitters, a company which offers verified pet-sitters, conducted some research to find the top 20 most popular dog-walking destinations in the UK by comparing thousands of social media posts taken from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

The top 20 dog walking destinations in the UK

  1. Lake District, Cumbria
  2. New Forest , Hampshire
  3. Dartmoor, Devon
  4. Hampstead Heath, London
  5. South Downs, South of England
  6. Wimbledon Common, London
  7. Richmond Park, London
  8. Snowdonia, North Wales
  9. Yorkshire Dales
  10. Brecon Beacons, South Wales
  11. Bushy Park, London
  12. Delamere Forest Park, Cheshire
  13. Lyme Park, Cheshire
  14. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, Scotland
  15. Heaton Park, Greater Manchester
  16. Bradgate Park, Leicestershire
  17. Sherwood Forest Country Park, Nottinghamshire
  18. Sutton Park, West Midlands
  19. Seven Sisters Country Park, East Sussex
  20. Wollaton Park, Nottinghamshire

Whilst these may have been the most popular dog walking destinations according to social media, there are so many more places to choose from, both local and further afield.

For more information on doggy-approved scenic walking routes, take a look at this comprehensive list from the National Trust.

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