Dogs Trust

The Big Paws

Should I bring my dog?

Should I bring my dog?

National Walk

Already got a dog ticket? Click here for our advice!

Our national walk is dog friendly and dog tickets are available for this event. However, in the interest of safety and comfort for all, the number of these tickets are limited. If you’re interested in bringing your dog along to the walk, please ensure they are well behaved, and comfortable around other dogs, people, and large crowds. We’ve provided a handy flowchart to help you assess whether your dog may or may not enjoy attending one of our National Walks.

At our national walks, dogs must be kept on a lead held by an adult. Please be considerate of other attendees as some may not be comfortable around all dogs and ensure that you pick up after your dog on route.

Note: Please do not bring your dog to the national walk without a dog ticket.

Regional walks

Please contact the regional walk organiser to see if your dog can attend this walk with you. They may have limited dog spaces. Our handy flowchart will help you decide whether a group walk with other dogs and people is something that your dog may enjoy.

Solo walks

We would love for you to share your solo walk with your dog if you have welcomed another into your life. Please follow the bye laws in your area.

As our national walks are in public spaces, we would remind people who are bringing their dogs to adhere to the relevant legislation outlined in the Control of Dogs Act. 

For some dogs, the kindest thing is to leave them at home while you attend your chosen walk. If this is the case, why not give them something fun to keep them occupied while you’re out of the house? Here are some ideas.

Advice for Dog Owners bringing their dog to The Big Paws Malahide Castle Event

If you are confident that attending a group walk and event is something that your dog will enjoy, here are some additional considerations for the event day which will ensure the safety, comfort, and well-being of your furry friend 😊

  1. Keep your dog on a lead at all times during the event, even if they have excellent recall. An adult should be in control of the lead at all times. We advise against using extendable leads for this walk.
  2. Be considerate of other event attendees. Not everyone may be comfortable or fond of all dogs. Do not allow your dog to approach other people or dogs uninvited.
  3. Please don’t congregate with other dogs and their owners. This is to help avoid any unwanted incidences between our furry friends.
  4. Ensure your dog can be seen. A doggie high-vis or reflective jacket/vest might be very useful for your evening adventure together on our magical trail.
  5. Pay close attention to your dog's behaviour throughout the event. Watch for signs of stress, fatigue, or overstimulation. If your dog becomes overwhelmed or anxious, find a quiet area where they can take a break and decompress. If you feel that they are unlikely to relax again, then consider taking them home. Here’s some handy advice on body language cues which may indicate that your dog is feeling worried or stressed (link to body language).
  6. Please pick up after your dog.
  7. If your dog is reactive to people or other dogs, you will be asked to take them home.

As our national walks are in public spaces, we would remind people who are bringing their dogs to adhere to the relevant legislation outlined in the Control of Dogs Act. In particular:

  • If your dog is a restricted breed they must wear a muzzle
  • Your dog must be licenced.