Guest blog by Katlyn Smith, a local freelance writer and dog owner, with over 10 years’ experience in animal welfare.
With enchanting woodland areas, like Linford Wood, and scenic lakes like Lodge Lake to roam around with your dog, it’s no surprise that dog owners in Milton Keynes are healthier than individuals without a pet pooch. Furthermore, events organised by The Parks Trust such as Woof Walks, and The Big Doggie Do encourage dog walkers to get out and about more often. But, how can you up the ante and make your Milton Keynes park walks together the best that they can be?
Basic safety first
The key to an enjoyable dog walk in a Milton Keynes park is to put safety at the forefront of your mind. Before any walk, check that you’ve got your dog’s lead, poop bags, and a bottle of water for you both. By law, you should only walk your dog around the parks if they are microchipped and wearing an ID tag. More Than Insurance advises that five dogs go missing every day in the UK. So, should the worst happen, you’ll have the best chance of being reunited.
Follow the rules
In some of the parks managed by The Parks Trust, including Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve, dogs need to be kept on a lead. These restrictions are in place for both your dog’s safety and for the safety of other animals in the park. To ensure your walk is as safe and enjoyable as possible, make sure you follow the rules regarding lead and off-lead walking particularly in grazing areas. Another rule which must always be followed is cleaning up after your dog has gone to the toilet. Fail to do this and you could end up with a hefty £80 fine.
With the parks in Milton Keynes packed full of woodland areas, grass, and trees, you’re sure to find a fair few pests lurking in the bushes. Fleas are typically found in shrubs, trees, and foliage, whereas ticks prefer long grass and bushes. In order to safeguard your dog from mites, it’s best to steer clear of grass during peak season. Instead, stick to pathways between March and June, and again from July to November. It’s also advisable to treat your pooch with a regular flea and tick treatment, such as a spot on or oral preventative.
Interact with other dog walkers
Many dog owners choose to walk the same route around the same Milton Keynes park day in, day out. However, experts state that it’s important for dogs to explore new areas as it keeps them mentally and physically stimulated. A great way to explore more of the city’s parks is to get involved in ‘Woof Walks’ led by The Parks Trust rangers. During these sessions, you’ll meet a whole host of other dog walkers and their pooches and get to explore new territory at the same time. As a result, you’ll make new friends, and discover new parks to include in your daily walks.
A leisurely stroll around a Milton Keynes park provides the perfect opportunity to engage in some obedience training with your pooch. You’re sure to encounter all sorts of wildlife, including birds, rabbits, and frogs, which will excite your pet. Make sure you use this time to encourage all-round good behaviour from your dog. And, don’t forget to bring plenty of treats with you, too.
The parks in Milton Keynes offer ample opportunity for owners and their dogs to enjoy many memorable walks together. However, to make the most of your experience, be sure to follow these five tips.
The Parks Trust have a code of conduct for all dog walkers in Milton Keynes. Based on the Countryside Code, the code of conduct for dog walkers impresses the importance of respecting other park users so that MK parks are places for everyone to enjoy. Download a copy of the code of conduct for dog walkers here.