Four Paws Code

Devon Loves Dogs believes that it’s important to respect other visitors, landowners, animals and wildlife when out on daily dog walks. To help make sure we’re all following the best advice, please adopt the Four Paws Code.

Take only memories, leave only paw prints.

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, even friendly ones. 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

It’s safest to keep your dog at heel or on the lead near wildlife or livestock. Please close gates behind you and follow any guidance on dogs around sensitive conservation areas. 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. Keep spare bags with you and be prepared to share with other dog walkers who have run out! Remember any public litter bin can be used for bagged dog waste.

Dog poo harms the special plants which grow in heathland and dune habitats. It’s just like adding fertiliser to your garden, allowing more competitive plants to grow and preventing rare heathland or sand dune 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 this 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. These are the best way 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. Please make sure that every dog in your care is sticking to the Four Paws Code and remember that dogs can be unpredictable if scared or in  unfamiliar surroundings. Your daily walk should be safe and fun for you and your dogs and it shouldn’t have a negative effect on either the environment or other visitors.

Do join Devon Loves Dogs – become a member today!

It’s free to join and all you need is a dog. You’ll receive a welcome pack full of goodies, offers and information and you’ll be able to share your photos, favourite walks and top tips on our website, facebook and twitter pages. As a member you’ll be part of the Devon Loves Dogs community and will be the first to hear about events and guided walks for you and your dog. So what are you waiting for? Join today and tell your friends that Devon Loves Dogs!

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 and money off vouchers.

Here at Devon Loves Dogs we recognise the positive impacts that dog walkers can have on the countryside. You can help by being extra eyes and ears, helping to deter damaging activities and record sightings of wildlife. Thank you.