VisitScotland has teamed up with Scotland’s Vets4Pets practices to provide dog owners with a list of ten unmissable walks across Scotland.
The ten walks include beaches, lochs, parks and signed path walks through woodlands, in areas from Dumfries and Galloway to Aberdeenshire.
It’s hoped the list will encourage more pet owners to help reduce obesity in dogs by increasing the levels of exercise among Scottish pooches.
And, as research shows that almost a third of holidaymakers base their trip on how suitable the destination is for their pet, these locations could also make the perfect holiday destination for pet owners.
The list includes: Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire; The Kelpies at Helix Park, Falkirk; East Sands Beach, St Andrews, Fife; Eyemouth Beach, Scottish Borders; North Berwick, East Lothian; Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway; Linlithgow Loch, West Lothian; Inveraray Jail, Argyll and Bute; Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow and Loch Morlich, The Highlands.
Louise Purves, corporate press officer at VisitScotland, said: “We are lucky enough to be blessed with breathtaking scenery in Scotland, from beautiful, spacious parks to award-winning beaches.
“There are hundreds of incredible walks across Scotland for local or visiting dog owners to choose from and enjoy with their beloved pet, and we wanted to celebrate and promote them through this list.
“We know how popular Scotland can be as a holiday destination for families and their pets, as analysis of searches on our website found there was 95 per cent more interest in pet related searches compared to searches for romantic holidays.”
She added: ““Narrowing down our list of ten unmissable walks was hard, but we wanted to provide a spread across the country. We hope everyone takes Vets4Pets’ advice on board and goes out to enjoy these walks throughout spring and summer.”
With an estimated 4.6 million pets in the UK now considered as obese, pet obesity is currently a major problem in pet welfare, and Vets4Pets has been campaigning to help combat the issue.
Adam Charleston, owner and veterinary surgeon at Vets4Pets Livingston, said: “We are thrilled to be working with VisitScotland and they have come up with a fantastic list of unmissable dog walks throughout Scotland.
“We want dog owners to visit these stunning locations to get dogs exercising, whilst staying healthy and safe.
“Dogs need daily walks, and some breeds like German Shepherd and Border Collie need more than two hours of exercise a day.
“We hope this list will make dog owners more aware of all the great places in Scotland where they can walk their dog and enjoy a day of exercising outdoors together.
“Not only do these unmissable walks provide a great opportunity for exercise, but our pets will also enjoy new locations to walk, as exploring a different location will stimulate their brain which can also lead to a healthy lifestyle.”
VisitScotland and Vets4Pets are also offering advice to dog owners on how to stay safe, respectful and in line with the Land Reform (Scotland) Act whilst out on any walks.
The Land Reform Act means that Scotland has some of the best public access rights in the world, and the right to roam legislation allows us to enjoy these stunning walks.
Adam added: “Dog owners should always make sure to keep their dogs under control, keep them on a lead if they are prone to running off, and clean up after them.
“It’s also important for owners to keep an eye on their dog around any livestock, and fields with calves and lambs should be avoided where possible.
“If owners are walking their dog near a beach, it is always best to keep them on a lead when walking on a cliff or coastal path.
“We hope families and their pets will make the most of this fantastic list of unmissable walks across Scotland, and enjoy a happy and safe day out with their dog this spring and summer.”