Taking the lead on dog walking

Visitors walking two dogs in the woodland at Blickling, Norfolk

Imagine your pup playing on open parkland, rustling through fallen leaves or bounding over golden sand. These are just some of the reasons you'll love walking your dog in the countryside or along the coast. We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade on the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog get even more out of the special places we care for.

This three-year partnership is based on our shared love of open spaces and the special relationships between dogs and their owners.

Together we'll make sure you and your dog get the most out of the woodlands, fields, parkland, and beaches we look after. And support the natural Forthglade range of co-branded dog food, designed to help your dog stay happy, healthy and full of energy for their outdoor adventures.

Video

Introducing the Dogs Welcome project

From improving dog-friendly trails to providing more waste bins and wash down areas, we're working with Forthglade to make sure you and your pup feel welcome. In this video, broadcaster and writer Simon Reeve explores Arlington Court in Devon to find out a bit more about the project.

Helping you plan your visit 

In partnership with Forthglade, we’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged-friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating, which will be shown in the 2022 handbook.

Our pawprint rating system

Two people sitting at table with dogs

Best: Three pawprints

Three pawprints shows the very best places you can visit for a day with your dog. You’ll be able to take your dog to most areas, including indoors for a cup of tea and a treat. There’ll be clearly signed dog zones and dog-friendly experiences.

Two people walking dogs through a wood

Good: Two pawprints

These places have water bowls, dog bins and dog-friendly walks. You’ll be able to take your dog into some areas, but not everywhere. If there’s a food and beverage outlet, you can have a cup of tea with them, probably outside.

Dog on lead

Standard: One pawprint

Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They’ll be able to stretch their legs in the car park and walk in the nearby open spaces, depending on the season.

We've launched a co-branded dog food range, which includes natural ingredients

A dog's dinner we're proud of 

The range, which is available on Forthglade's website and is sold in National Trust shops and online, is expected to contribute a minimum of £50,000 to our cause.

The funds will go towards ensuring that dogs and their owners can get even more joy from the countryside we care for. Any measures we take will balance the needs of the landscape and surrounding wildlife with those of other walkers and visitors. 

The dog food range, which includes natural ingredients such as duck, venison and green beans, will be accompanied by a variety of hand-baked grain-free natural dog treats and a natural dried dog food product. We'll also be handing out free treats for your dog to try at some National Trust places and dog-friendly holiday cottages. 

Get the most out of dog walking with us

We want you and your dog to have a fun and stress-free day. We also want to protect farm animals and precious wildlife habitats, as well as ensure everyone can enjoy the countryside, whether or not they have a dog. This is why we've teamed up with Forthglade to put together the following top tips.

Top dog: walking tips for you and your four-legged friend

  • Check that the place you want to visit is dog friendly, and look out for signs, maps and people telling you where you can go with your four-legged friend. 
  • Before taking your dog off the lead, check you're in an area where this is permitted and that there are no livestock. However, do let go of your dog if you are chased or charged by cattle.
  • Be mindful of other dogs and people, especially children. If you do take your dog off the lead, it shouldn’t run off into the distance.
  • Carry poop bags and always pick up after your dog. This will make the places we care for more pleasant for everyone and is better for the environment we work so hard to preserve.
  • Some dogs love water, and it can often be hard to stop them from diving straight in when they see it. Only let your dog do this if it's safe and you are allowed to do so. 
  • Make sure you've got a map, especially if you're going off the beaten track.
  • Take plenty of water and a lightweight bowl with you.
  • Carry your dog's favourite treats, so you can encourage and reward positive behaviour. 
  • Keep safe in the countryside by looking out for information, and spend time getting to know your dog to see if they are stressed or ill. Your vet can provide information about training and keeping your dog healthy.
     
" We’re so pleased to be supporting the wonderful work achieved by the National Trust and thrilled to have the Trust associated with our range of natural meals and treats for dogs. We look forward to further bringing to life the National Trust’s Dogs Welcome activity."
- Gerard Lovell, a managing director at Forthglade