Wexford dog owners are being encouraged to get active with their four-legged friends by taking on one of Wexford’s top five dog walking trails as part of Petmania’s Operation TransPAWmation initiative.
hrough getting people and their pets involves in the six-week Operation TransPAWmation programme, Petmania Wexford hope to shine a light on the impact that movement can have on a dog’s physical and mental health. To encourage people to take that first step, they have shared their top five dog walking trails in Wexford.
Top of the list is Coolmeelagh Loop – one of three lovely walks near Bunclody, with beautiful views of Wexford to the south and Wicklow and Carlow to the North. This 6.9 k.m. loop takes around 2 hours to complete. Taking you through a beautiful forested area, there is a nice mix of woodlands and open terrain for dogs to explore.
In second place is Carrigfoyle Quarry via Carrickatinna Rock – a well-maintained and scenic trail within Carrigfoyle Activity Park. It well-marked throughout, making it ideal for those visiting here with their dogs for the first time, with the possibility of taking either a short or long route. This route is suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.
The well-known Raven Woods comes in third place on the Petmania list thanks to its stunning woodland walkway that leads onto a long stretch of white sandy beach. If you are out walking during the winter months, you might spot all the geese from the North Slob flying out to roost on sandbanks in Wexford Harbour.
Tara Hill has two trails that are ideal for dog walkers and their canine companions – the Red Slí an tSuaimhnais trail and the more demanding Blue Slí na n-Óg trail. Slí an tSuaimhnais takes an average of 1 hour and 26 minutes to complete. The trail brings you along atmospheric laneways which now and again open out to reveal the wonderful views of the coast. Meanwhile, Slí na n-Óg follows a looped path around Tara Hill. These routes come forth on the list.
Last but not least comes Ballyfad Woods trail. A popular trail with families, hikers and dog walkers, this walk takes you through a mature oak forest that is brimming with biodiversity. Try visiting during spring time while the bluebells are in bloom for a stunning photo opportunity. This is an easy-going and well-maintained route that is suitable for most abilities, so a wonderful opportunity to get outdoors and explore nature with your dog.
Speaking of the importance of looking after your dog’s physical health through exercise, Champion Dog Trainer and expert in pet behaviour training, Samantha Rawson said:
“Dogs get much of their information from their sense of smell. An exploratory walk where the dog can use its nose can be the equivalent of reading a good book for your dog. A walk is also a fantastic opportunity to have some fun with your pet – playing hide and seek can be a great way to tire your dog out mentally as well as physically, and the whole family can get involved!”
It’s important to take your dog’s mental and physical needs into account when choosing a walk, and the list above offers plenty of options. A walk which involves a lot of exploration will help to mentally stimulate your dog and give them something to dream about!”
While exercise is essential to maintaining a pet’s good health, mental stimulation, diet and nutrition are equally important. In light of this, Operation TransPAWmation is based on a comprehensive approach which incorporates fun activities, simple nutrition tips, and weekly tutorials and challenges, and focuses on the importance of both exercise and diet. Pet parents are fully supported by the expert staff at Petmania Wexford throughout the programme, and provided with knowledge to maintain their pet’s health and wellbeing beyond the initiative and into the future.
Pet owners can join the six-week healthy lifestyle programme, for free, by registering on www.petmania.ie/ot or by dropping into Petmania Wexford at Clonard Retail Park. Operation TransPAWmation is run online with weekly updates, a food diary, exercise and diet hints and tips plus exciting weekly health steps to complete, with the support of Petmania Wexford’s Pet Care Advisors in-store.
Petmania’s Operation TransPAWmation began in 2017 to highlight the rise in overweight dogs in Ireland. Since then, they have extended the campaign to a whole-health campaign for dogs and cats, helping thousand of pet owners get to grips with their pet’s overall health and wellbeing. Now in its 7th Year, Operation TransPAWmation is designed to help dog and cat owners identify and make small changes that can help improve their pet’s overall health and wellbeing.