We’re proud to announce our new and improved eco-friendly dog kennels. Our eco range has recently been redesigned to minimise wastage and reduce our company’s carbon footprint.
At Benchmark Kennels, we aim to deliver high-quality eco-friendly dog kennels to customer specifications while reducing environmental disruption and waste. All of our eco-friendly kennels are now made using diverted plastics from landfill which are converted into wood composite.
Designed to keep your dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter, our eco-kennels are a sustainable and high-quality dog housing solution. Continue reading to find out the top six benefits of our eco-kennel range.
- Low Maintenance
Our eco range requires little to no maintenance. So, you won’t need to worry about applying treatments or stains to the kennel, as they are designed to withstand all weather conditions without needing any maintenance.
Eco-kennels are designed to not rot, crack, or split overtime, requiring very little effort and money to maintain. Highly-resistant and secure, our eco-kennel range is made from WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) boards that are fitted onto a strong and durable steel frame.
- Suitable All-Year Round
Hard-wearing and long-lasting, our eco-kennels are naturally insulated to provide a secure and cosy living space for your pooch all year round. Designed to keep your dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter, our eco range will keep your pup comfortable throughout any weather conditions.
All of our eco-kennels come with anti-chew strips as standard to add extra strength and durability to the kennel. If you’re looking to make your kennel completely chew-proof, you can opt for our galvanised anti destruction pack as an optional extra.
All of our eco-kennels are manufactured with quality and sustainability in mind, carefully crafted from fully-recycled materials to help reduce our company’s energy usage and environmental impact.
Implementing environmentally-conscious improvements has allowed us to help to save natural resources and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill every year.
With dog theft on the rise, safety is always at the top of our priority list when we are planning or designing a new kennel for the market. All of our eco-kennels have two pad bolts per door and heavy duty caging to ensure your dog is safe and secure.
- Simple and Easy to Relocate
If you’re looking to move home or rearrange your garden space, you don’t need to worry about leaving our eco-kennel behind or struggling to move it. Our eco range can be easily dismantled and relocated.
- Easy to Clean
Offering a large entrance that gives owners more headroom for maintaining the kennel, our eco-kennels are easy to clean. They can be easily power washed inside and out, improving hygiene and providing your dog with a clean and comfortable living space.
Shop Our New Eco-Kennel Range
At Benchmark Kennels, we provide high-quality, secure dog housing solutions at affordable prices. All of our eco-kennels are handmade with professional fitting to give you peace of mind.
No matter what your specific requirements are, we will be able to tailor a kennel perfectly to your dog. Here at Benchmark Kennels, we offer single, duo and triple kennels, suitable for a range of dog sizes and breeds. We also offer a variety of optional extras to customise your kennel.
Across the globe there’s lots of exciting cities full of fantastic attractions, but what about the best dog-friendly cities for our four-legged friends?
As people move back to the city and look to get away more through 2022, where will dog owners be looking to travel to that caters exactly for their pet’s needs? Benchmark Kennels have rounded up and analysed the top ten most dog-friendly cities across the globe, looking into factors such as the number of veterinarians, groomers, parks, pet stores, pet friendly restaurants, the dog-friendliness of the climate and transport, ranking almost one hundred of the largest cities across the globe, to reveal which are the most dog-friendly.
Whether you’re considering moving home or simply taking your pooch for a weekend away, this guide on the topmost dog-friendly cities is the perfect read for you.
The ten most dog-friendly cities across the globe
1 – London
Overall, London ranks first as the top most dog-friendly city across the globe. After being assessed on several factors such as the number of parks, dog groomers and pet stores, London ranked first out of 85 of cities worldwide.
The UK capital took the lead on the number of dog walking services with 834 in the area. With 163 parks, you’ll never be short of somewhere to walk your pooch and with 240 pet stores, you can count on London for your much-needed pooch supplies.
With 92 paw-friendly rentals and 71 dog-friendly restaurants, London is certainly one of the best places across the globe to visit with your furry friend. In fact, in January 2022, it was revealed that London housed the best dog-friendly hotel (Lucknam Park) in the UK.
With 240 veterinarians and a dog-friendly metro, London has certainly earned the accolade of the top most dog-friendly city.
2 – New York City
The city of New York ranked second in the top most dog-friendly areas in the world, after being assessed on a number of paw-friendly factors. The data revealed that New York has around 423 dog walking services and 94 parks, so your pooch can enjoy plenty of fresh air.
With 60 dog groomers and 240 pet stores, your furry friend can continue looking and feeling their best.
If you’re looking to visit New York, the city offers 116 dog-friendly rentals and the largest number of paw-friendly restaurants across the globe, with 548. New York city is well-known for its wonderful cuisine, so you and your pooch can enjoy some pawsome food together!
3 – Toronto
One of the best dog-friendly cities across the globe is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario, Toronto, which ranks third. The study revealed that the city has around 188 dog walking services and 88 parks, providing your pooch with plenty of fresh air and space to explore the beautiful city.
With plenty of dog-friendly businesses to visit such as the 33 paw-friendly restaurants the city offers, there’s still plenty of places to take your much loved pooch.
Although there are a few more rules when it comes to travelling on the metro with your dog, it is still allowed, making it much easier to get from place to place. However, your canine must be on a leash or secured in an enclosed container during weekends and weekday off-peak periods.
4 – Melbourne
Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria in Australia, ranks fourth with 256 dog walking services and 73 open space parks. Melbourne reaches top temperatures of approximately 20.4°C, making it the perfect warm environment, without being too hot and risking your dog’s health.
With 279 dog groomers in the city, your pooch will never have to worry about looking for places to get a haircut again.
With 240 pet stores and veterinarians, Melbourne is sure to have all of your pets needs covered. When it comes to travelling across the city of Melbourne, your pooch will be allowed on public transport, as long as it is wearing a leash and muzzle.
5 – Berlin
The capital of Germany ranks fifth, with around 429 dog walking services and 54 parks for your pooch to roam in.
Jam packed with paw-friendly attractions, Germany is an extremely dog-friendly area where pooches are allowed almost everywhere including in 56 dog-friendly rentals and on public transport free of charge.
With 240 veterinarian’s in the area, you can be sure your furry friend is safe in any unexpected emergencies, and with 171 pet stores you won’t have to travel far for your pooch’s essential supplies.
With an average daytime temperature of around 14°C, you can be confident your dog will enjoy walkies, without being too cold or getting heatstroke.
6 – Madrid
Although it may have gone under your radar when it came to a pooch holiday, Madrid ranks sixth and is actually one of the most dog-friendly cities, having an average daytime temperature of around 20.5°C.
With 124 dog-friendly rentals you’ll have plenty of places to stay, and plenty of places to travel to, as in Madrid, all pooches are allowed on public transport.
With 793 dog walking services and 36 parks, you can enjoy the scenery with your much-loved pet.
With 127 dog groomers in the city, you can always take your pooch for a trim if they get too warm or even buy them some pet cooling supplies from one of the 121 pet stores in the area.
7 – Paris
Known as the city of love, Paris ranks seventh. The city of Paris houses around 426 dog walking services and 171 parks, making it one of the top ten most paw-friendly areas.
You can visit all of the top attractions including the Eiffel Tower, the Château de Versailles and a range of other places, with the Metro being pet-friendly and free. The whole city is yours to explore!
The city of Paris has around 80 pet stores and 240 veterinarians, a well-equipped area for your pooch.
If all of that walking has worked up an appetite, enjoy some french cuisine with your pet in the city of romance, at one of the 11 dog friendly restaurants the city has to offer.
8 – Tokyo
Eighth is the capital of Japan, Tokyo. Well-known for its cherry blossoms, markets and sacred sites, the city offers around 539 dog-friendly parks to explore. With 33 dog-friendly rentals, you won’t be short of places to stay either. With pooches allowed on public transport, you can explore all Tokyo has to offer.
Take your pet to one of the 173 groomers or 240 pet stores in the city for a pamper and a little treat.
With an average daytime temperature of around 18.5°C, you and your pooch can be comfortable without being too warm or too cold on your adventures.
9 – Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. came ninth in the top most dog-friendly cities with 141 dog walking services and 40 parks.
With 384 dog-friendly restaurants to choose from, you’ll certainly be able to enjoy the top dishes and drinks of the city including pizza and craft beer.
Washington D.C. has around 38 dog-friendly rentals, which is more than enough choice when it comes to fantastic places to stay.
With the freedom to roam Washington D.C., and dogs being allowed on public transport, you can enjoy the city to the fullest potential, looking around the grounds of The White House or even around one of the 240 pet stores Washington D.C. has to offer.
With 240 veterinarians in the area you can be sure you’re covered if your pet does fall ill.
10 – Barcelona
Barcelona ranks tenth in the top most dog-friendly cities across the globe. Barcelona is known for its stunning architecture and world-class cuisine. With 76 dog-friendly parks to roam and 6 dog friendly restaurants, you can enjoy the best parts of the city with your furry friend.
In Barcelona, the metro is dog-friendly so you won’t have to worry about travelling around without your pooch, they can enjoy every part of the trip by your side. Housing 61 dog-friendly rentals, you won’t be short of places to stay in the city, either.
With 88 groomers and 72 pet stores in Barcelona, your pooch can enjoy a well-deserved treat on their holiday.
The United States houses the most dog-friendly cities
The research revealed that the United States houses the top most dog-friendly cities with both New York and Washington D.C. ranking in the top ten.
The most dog-friendly UK cities
The researchers also looked into which UK cities are the most dog-friendly, using the same metrics – including the number of veterinarians, groomers, parks, pet stores, pet friendly restaurants, and the dog-friendliness of the climate and transport.
A Dog’s Favourite Biscuits and Treats Revealed for International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day – 23rd February
With International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day fast-approaching, how can we make sure our dogs enjoy their special day as much as possible?
While the origins of this festivity remain unclear, we know exactly how it should be celebrated – with a biccy!
Dog biscuits were first marketed in 1860 by an Ohio salesman by the name of James Pratt. In fact, one of the employees at Pratt’s London factory was Charles Cruft, the future founder of Cruft’s Dog Show.
While biscuits are widely recognised as a popular dog treat that always goes down well with our pooches, which brands do we favour?
Britain’s Favourite Dog Food Brands
1 – Pedigree
It’s official, Pedigree wears the crown as the leading dog food brand for British pooches! This famous company was first started by a small team of dog food makers under the name of the Chappell Brothers in 1930s Manchester. It didn’t take long for the product’s popularity to be recognised. The company was soon bought over by an American group called Mars, a huge corporation which also owns Cesar, Whiskas, Royal Canin and more!
2 – Bakers
Just falling short of first place is Bakers, a company that was first started by Edward Baker. Baker was a Suffolk businessman running a family flour company who sought to develop dog food that was nutritious as well as tasty.
3 – Tesco
In third is supermarket mogul, Tesco. Tesco has been making dog food for over 30 years and has become such a popular choice for paw parents that an increase in pet ownership during lockdown caused extreme shortages of their products as they could not keep up with the demand.
4 – Bonio
Squeezing into fourth place is the popular UK dog biscuit brand, Bonio. This company has been around since 1932 and operates from Liverpool. Bonio dog treats are crunchy, oven-baked biscuits that come in flavours such as original, chicken and meaty chip. There is also a high fibre option for the health-orientated pups!
5 – Winalot
And in fifth is Winalot. This brand of dog food was first used in 1927 and marketed towards racing greyhounds, hence the name! However, the brand quickly became popular with domestic canines and soon became a brand leader.
Pups in Training
Let’s be honest, obedience training can be very trying! Sometimes it feels hopeless, like the odds are against you and your pooch is destined to be an unruly pup.
To gain some insight into this testing part of puppy parenthood, Benchmark Kennels decided to reach out to the founder of Rebarkable and overall puppy expert, Ali Smith.
“Certain breeds are definitely easier to train, but there is no ‘disobedient’ breed. Just some who are bred to be independent and some who are bred to work closely with you.
“More biddable breeds include German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, toy poodles, border collies – essentially the breeds that are often deemed ‘smart’ breeds, and the more aloof or independent breeds like Huskies, Harriers, Shiba Inu, and a whole host of terriers are usually equally smart, it can just be more difficult to find their wavelength.”
Treats can provide the perfect reward and incentive for pups to follow commands. Creating this positive connection between food and obedience can speed up the training process massively.
However, some dogs are also more inclined to work for food than others, such as greedy labradors and pugs! These breeds happily see treats as their reward whereas working dogs such as spaniels, shepherds and collies might find a toy and a good game of tug and war more enticing. The key to the training process is finding what motivates your dog in particular.
Adapting Treats to Different Environments
The environment in which a dog is taught has a direct impact on their concentration levels and as a result, their ability to learn and absorb new tricks or habits. The Benchmark team contacted clinical Animal Behaviourist and fellow expert in all things dog, Rachel Rodgers, to expand on why certain treats are more effective in different environments.
“When teaching something new, or taking known tricks into an unfamiliar, distracting environment such as a park, we need to use higher value products such as meat-based treats. When in a familiar place like the home, lower value treats such as more traditional, shop-bought biscuits like milk and gravy bones can work well.”
While it may seem like treats are not compelling your dog like they should, it may be the case that what you are offering is simply not tempting enough to command your pooch’s attention, especially while they are in an interesting environment. It is a good idea to vary the treats that you give your pup to ensure that each remains interesting and does not lose its effect.
Common Fur-Parent Problems (and how to fix them)
Barking at the doorbell, begging at the dinner table, jumping up at guests – we’ve all been there! However, what often falls under the radar is how specific dog treats can be used to fix these behavioural issues.
While these issues can be frustrating, it is essential to consider why a dog might be acting in such a way. After ruling out potential causes of pain or fear, it is worth considering that your pooch is oblivious to the fact that they are doing anything wrong.
Rachel Rodgers explains:
“We should never punish a badly behaved dog because in the majority of situations, the reason that the dog is ‘badly behaved’ is that they have not been taught the right thing to do in the first place.
“Teaching an incompatible behaviour to the problem behaviour can be a great way to tackle common issues.
“If a dog is jumping up, scatter food on the floor: their nose will be down sniffing out treats which is incompatible with being up near someone’s face and jumping! They are also getting rewarded for keeping their 4 paws on the floor which over time will become their new behaviour. Dog barks at the postman? Teach them to lie quietly on the bed where they will get a tasty chew.”
While small, soft treats are perfect for training and teaching tricks as canines can eat them quickly, longer lasting treats such as biscuits can be ideal when teaching pooches to be calm around visitors. Giving a long-lasting biscuit or chew on their bed when people arrive can also help dogs learn to settle and relax in a set area rather than jumping all over guests. It is all about choosing the right kind of treat depending on the situation or environment.
However, if owners are really struggling with their pet’s behaviour, they should seek professional advice from an appropriately trained and accredited individual. The dog training and behaviour world in the UK and in many countries is unregulated meaning anyone can call themselves a trainer. They may not have the knowledge and experience required to help appropriately.
Whether you are a fan of custard creams or chocolate digestives can be a point of contention, but what about your dog? Although dogs only have about one-sixth of the number of taste buds that humans have, we can’t help but wonder if our pooches have snack preferences.
Ali Smith was able to shed some light on the subject. According to Ali, our furry friends tend to favour flavours of liver or whole proteins such as chicken and ham. However, it is worth keeping in mind that some treats are definitely healthier than others. Just like human food, the less processed, the better: recognisable ingredients are always a good sign!
The Treats our Dogs go Crazy for
The team at Benchmark Kennels decided to do some digging. We asked 300 dog owners for their pooches’ favourite snacks and compiled a comprehensive list of dogs’ favourite alternative treats.
Just as Ali Smith predicted, the dogs were chicken lovers, with over 1 in 5 of owners voting this popular poultry as the treat that their pooch gets most excited for. Dogs are not bothered about whether the chicken is freeze-dried, baked, or boiled, so don’t bother with any elaborate cooking, these pooches are easily pleased.
The second most popular snacks were hot dogs and sausages, without onion and garlic of course which are harmful for dogs. This quintessential American delicacy was suggested by almost 1 in 6 fur-parents. In fact, Rachel Rodgers recommends using this food as a training incentive. “Small pieces (no larger than your small finger nail) of hot dog or ham can be really good high value treats for training.” However, Rachel also warns that meat products with a high salt content are harmful for our doggos and should be avoided. To be safe, stick to reduced fat and salt hot dogs, with no garlic or onion powder flavouring.
Cheese narrowly misses out on the top two spots with 46 four-legged fans. Luckily, this tasty treat also gets Rachel’s approval as she advocates for its efficacy in the training department. She suggests owners use small pieces of low fat plain cheese like mild cheddar when teaching dogs new skills and notes that Blue and aged cheese should be avoided as they tend to upset a canine tummy.
In fourth is beef liver, with 43 out of 300 canine enthusiasts choosing this treat. Again, pooches are not fussy about the cooking method, whether freeze-dried, baked, or boiled, dogs are sure to enjoy it!
Next came the classic kibble with 35 votes, followed by salmon jerky in sixth place which was suggested by 26 pooch owners. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids for dogs which supports immune systems and decreases inflammation. It can also keep your canines looking classy by maintaining a shiny, health coat.
There is a three-way tie in seventh place, with 21 owners mentioning carrots, salt-and-additive-free beef jerky and ice cubes.
It is important to opt for salt-and-additive-free jerky so as to not make dogs ill, this can become quite serious.
On the other hand, carrots make the perfect low-fat snack for our canine companions. These vegetables are known to clean dogs’ teeth, keep bowel movements regular, support eye health, strengthen immune systems and maintain healthy skin and coats. However, while carrots are rich in Vitamin A which has many benefits, it can also build up in the body and become toxic. As a result, it would be best to not overdo it with the carrots.
Ice cubes can make a great cooling treat for dogs, especially on a hot summer’s day. However, the ice cubes must be a safe size so as to not pose a choking risk, it might be best to offer small ice cubes or ice shavings to be on the cautious side.
And in eighth is xylitol-free peanut butter. Although this snack is popular among dog owners, this treat should only be given in moderation as it is high in fat and has a high salt content. As a result, it is not advisable to offer peanut butter to overweight dogs or those with kidney problems. Also, it is essential to only use peanut butter that does not contain xylitol as this chemical is toxic for dogs.
Although dogs are the biggest human food enthusiasts, it is best to be careful and research foods before offering them to pooches. Rachel Rodgers warns:
“There are certain human foods which would be toxic and dangerous to give to our dogs. Any foods containing chocolate, raisins, grapes etc. need to be avoided as this could have deadly consequences to the dog. Other human foods are ok to give dogs but in small quantities.”
While it can be tempting to get over-enthusiastic at the thought of embracing International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day and plan to stuff your pooch with every flavoured doggy delicacy, it is important to celebrate sensibly. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and a whole list of other health consequences such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, all of which negatively impact your furry friend’s life span.
Simply watching your pooch’s portions will allow you both to enjoy the festivities while watching out for your partner in crime and what is best for them in the long run.
About Benchmark Kennels
Benchmark Kennels manufacture bespoke outdoor kennels to suit dogs of all breeds, shapes, and sizes. The kennels are handmade and made-to-order, with professional fittings to give you peace of mind that your kennel will be stable and withstand the elements. They offer both bespoke wooden kennels, along with a range of eco-kennels that provide additional thermal insulation.
The kennel retailers are trusted suppliers to the National Trust, Balmoral estate, the royal family of Abu Dhabi, Country estates, top dog breeders and pet owners nationwide.
Research carried out by Benchmark Kennels has revealed the priciest puppies in the UK, finding average asking prices ranging from £1,050 to £3,700, over double the pre-lockdown 2020 value.
With puppy prices climbing since the start of last year, our team decided to investigate exactly how much more expensive it has become to welcome a new dog into your home. We analysed over 200 adverts posted on popular puppy selling sites and compared the average asking prices to pre-lockdown figures.
Puppy prices have increased by an average of £1,249 since March 2020, from £1,066 to £2,315
Across the 42 popular breeds surveyed, the team found that puppy prices have risen by £1,249 since March 2020. This cost has increased by 132%, with the average puppy more than doubling in price from £1,066 to £2,315.
Chow Chows, Golden Retrievers, English Bulldogs and Cavapoos are now worth over £3,000
The most expensive breed is the Chow Chow, now worth an average of £3,700 for a puppy. This is a rise of 84% in just one year, from an asking price of £2,015 in March 2020. The Golden Retriever is the second most expensive, currently worth £3,360, followed by the English bulldog, worth £3,300.
Golden Retrievers have increased in price by £1,930
Within the most expensive breeds, Golden Retrievers have seen the largest price increase, rising from just £1,430 in March 2020 to £3,360. That’s a massive increase of £1,930, with Golden Retriever puppies more than doubling in value in just a year.
The previously most expensive puppy now appears a bargain
The English bulldog was the most expensive puppy in March 2020, valued at an average of £2,250. However, 25 of the breeds surveyed are now worth more than £2,250, including French Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers and Beagles. A total of 71.4% of the breeds surveyed now have an asking price above £2,000, compared to 4.8% of breeds in March 2020.
Fashionable poodle crossbreeds have increased in value the most
The average designer crossbreed has risen in value from £1,256 in March 2020 to a current value of £2,862. Cavapoo, Goldendoodle, Cockapoo and Labradoodle crossbreeds are now some of the most expensive puppies, costing more than most purebreds. Cavapoos are the top designer dog, almost doubling in value from £1,615 to a stunning £3,030 in a year. In comparison, the average value of a purebred is currently £2,257.
What influences the price of a puppy?
Within the research, our team compared other elements of puppy price, such as gender, KC registration, and crossbreed versus purebred status, to reveal how much these factors affect the average price.
Popular crossbreeds are now worth £605 more than purebreds
In March 2020, the price of popular crossbreeds such as labradoodles and cavapoos averaged around £1,256. This fee was £210 more than a purebred, which averaged £1,046. However, over the past year, prices have increased by 133% to £2,862 for crossbreeds and 132% to £2,257 for purebreds. As a result, popular crossbreeds now cost an average of £605 more than a purebred.
Kennel Club registered puppies command £545 more
When comparing puppy prices based on Kennel Club status, registered puppies cost an average of £2,648, while unregistered puppies cost £2,103 – a difference of £545. This is a large difference in price for a piece of paperwork costing £16, suggesting buyers are using this registration as a key factor when choosing a puppy to buy.
However, KC registration does not guarantee that a puppy is healthy or from a responsible breeder, as the puppies registered aren’t assessed by any authority. The registration is instead based on the parent dogs – both need to be registered, not too closely related, and the mother can’t have more than four litters.
The most inflated puppy prices
The average price of a puppy hasn’t increased equally across all breeds. Some breeds have increased in price by up to 328%, while others have seen a much smaller 22% rise.
Patterdales have seen the largest increase in relative price
Over the past year, the price of the average Patterdale puppy has risen from £290 to £1,240, rising by a whopping 328%. This is the largest relative increase in value of all the breeds compared. Originating from the Lake District, these terriers were first bred for hunting. They are robust, healthy and loyal small dogs. However, they are also very active and have a high prey drive, requiring plenty of entertainment, exercise and training.
The classic Cocker Spaniel has seen the second-largest price increase, from a reasonable £631 to an average of £2,520 – an increase of 299% in value. The cost of Staffordshire Bull Terrier follows, having soared by 245% in value, from £650 in March 2020 to £2,240. Another spaniel, the English Springer Spaniel, has seen a 205% rise in value, with puppies now worth £1,920.
In comparison, the Chihuahua has seen the lowest increase in value, from £1,390 to £1,690 – an increase of just 22%.
The average breed has increased in price by 132.3%, from a March 2020 average of £1,066 to a 2021 average of £2,315.
Cheryl Sampson, Marketing Manager at Benchmark Kennels, says:
“The increase in puppy price has been driven by a huge surge in demand over the past year. Such a sudden price change is shocking, with many people likely priced out of buying a dog.
“When researching these puppy prices, we found an astounding amount of sellers advertising young dogs that they bought as a puppy but now can’t cope with. Reasons included health issues, a change in circumstances or children not getting along with the puppy. We urge people to heavily consider these factors and weigh up whether they can truly care for a dog before buying a puppy, or whether they are only able to due to their current situation – which may change in the coming months.
“Consider the home dynamic and whether you’ll always have enough time to exercise and entertain your dog. We recommend between 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise per day, depending on the breed. Dogs can become mischievous and experience the same emotions as people when they aren’t exercised or cared for properly – they can sometimes become anxious, aggressive or destructive.
“Don’t underestimate the cost of keeping a dog after initially purchasing the puppy. Research from veterinary charity PDSA states a dog costs anywhere from £50 to £80 a month, after an initial cost of at least £370 when you first take your puppy home. On top of this, veterinary fees can become very expensive, especially with certain purebreds predisposed to many ailments.
“If you’re prepared to care for a dog, but want to avoid excessive puppy costs of up to £3,700, consider adopting from a local rescue centre. You could save thousands while giving a dog in need a forever home.”
About Benchmark Kennels
Benchmark Kennels manufacture bespoke dog kennels to suit dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes. You can customise your outdoor kennel to be as luxurious or minimalist as required, built using a range of materials from wooden to WPC eco-thermal kennels with extra insulation. You can order a kennel directly from our website or get in touch with us for further advice on the best kennel for your dog’s needs.
One of the most hotly debated topics in the canine world is which breed is top dog. So we’ve set up a poll for you to vote for your favourite breed.
If you can’t see your choice on the list, tick ‘other’ at the end of the answers and add your favourite.
We’re also interested in whether you’ve changed your habits due to restrictions – you might be unable to walk as much due to travel restrictions. Or perhaps you’ve avoided shops by purchasing dog subscription boxes.
At Benchmark Kennels, we are always interested in any tips that we can share to benefit your dog’s care. Through this survey, we hope to see some popular ways that owners have looked after their dog during restrictions.
We will share the results in a couple of months when we’ve had plenty of respondents!
Before 2020, the term ‘socially distanced’ was unknown to many, but thanks to COVID-19, it’s since become a commonly used phrase. Coronavirus has caused countless disruptions to day-to-day life, but the strangest change for many is keeping two meters apart from anyone outside of your household. Still, where is better to maintain a distance while exploring the British countryside than with your dog, in one of our national parks?
We’ve taken the top five national parks most suitable for taking your dog on a socially distanced walk, by comparing key factors including the length of walking routes, ease of parking, and the odds that you’ll stay dry.
The Top National Parks for Socially Distanced Dog Walks
Exmoor ranks number one
The only national park with low visitor numbers from the south, Exmoor, takes the top spot. With just 5,479 daily visitors, Exmoor is the third quietest park in England, with the second-lowest amount of walkers overall per kilometre of walking route. In comparison, the New Forest has 175 daily visitors per kilometre of footpath – you could bump into over 30 times more visitors than Exmoor.
Exmoor also has the best temperature of these socially distanced national parks, reaching an average (not so) toasty 6.75 °C through the winter months. While this may not be a worthy substitute for a winter getaway to escape the UK’s weather, dog walkers can be safe knowing that there won’t be too much ice and frost across Exmoor from December to March. Still, make sure you check the forecast before exercising in this national park – to avoid cold showers or slippery footpaths without the right gear.
The Yorkshire Dales offer the most secluded walk
If you’re planning long walking routes and days out in the countryside, the Yorkshire Dales are a perfect fit. Explore the incredible 3,200km of walking trails that this area has to offer, while safe in the knowledge that the Dales receive the least yearly visitors of any national park – just 520,000, or 1,425 daily visitors. Per kilometre, that’s over 14 times fewer visitors than top spot Exmoor.
This quiet location is particularly beneficial for owners with nervous and reactive dogs as it ensures pooches can run around freely with minimal risk of unexpected encounters with strangers and fellow dogs.
North York Moors takes third place
While this park has a slightly shorter walking route of 2,200km, it has the lowest chance of rainfall – great for a weekend escape to the countryside. While Yorkshire isn’t known for its weather, on average 56% of winter days are completely dry in the North York Moors – almost 10% higher than Exmoor.
Some of the best dog walks in this national park include the forest walk Newton Dale, and Clay Bank and Greenhow Plantation which entails a combination of tracks, trees, and stunning views.
Northumberland places fourth
Another option for socially distanced dog walks even further North East is Northumberland. It’s the second least visited national park behind the Dales and has plenty of history to take in as you walk around. Retrace the steps of the guards of Hadrian’s Wall and view Roman remains, all while unwinding in the fresh air.
As the nights get darker earlier, before you drive back from this national park, take in the best view of the night sky on the continent – with meteorites, stars, comets and moons often visible. Northumberland is the largest protected ‘Dark Sky Park’ in Europe, a designation that results in the lowest levels of light pollution across the continent, so visitors can sit in the car at the end of a long hike, and enjoy the best view of the night sky in Europe.
The Peak District rounds up the top five
This area, which was designated the first national park in the UK, is easily accessible to 16 million people living within an hour’s drive, making it extremely popular. It sees 13,250,000 yearly visitors, with 2,900 km of walking routes, ensuring that you can enjoy a backdrop of gorgeous scenery without passing many people.
The Peak District contains an incredible mix of hills and valleys, resulting in some of the most beautiful and varied walks in the country. There are plenty of areas to explore, and 45 separate car parks provide the opportunity to park up wherever you choose to exercise. Mam Tor is a hill popular with walkers, where you can walk atop a ridge to Lose Hill and take in some of the best panoramic views the UK has to offer. Ladybower Reservoir is another stunning walk, where you can walk by the tranquil water through the woodlands.
The most crowded walks
The New Forest has the shortest walking route of any national park (235km) and 15,000,000 visitors a year – the third most annual visitors. The limited space proposes a risk of an overcrowded walk, making it difficult to socially distance. For a quieter experience, try visiting this area during off-peak hours.
The Broads are also clearly popular among dog walkers, with short routes and scenic waterways attracting 7,000,000 visitors a year. However, you could bump into 63 visitors per kilometre here – over ten times more than in Exmoor or Northumberland, which may make it more difficult for both you and your dogs to stick to the social distancing rules.
To ensure social distancing is possible on your dog walk, opt for a location with lots of space and fewer visitors, such as the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales. The New Forest and The Broads appear to be the most crowded, so when visiting these national parks, try getting up and out earlier than usual.
If your dog still craves the outdoors even after a long walk, an outside dog kennel provides a safe and comfortable environment for them to get shelter when in the garden. Benchmark Kennels manufacture bespoke dog kennels to suit all breeds, shapes, and sizes. To find more information and advice on the best kennel for your dog’s needs, go to our website or contact us directly.
If you’re planning a quick after-work walk with your pooch, or even just a Sunday mooch, view the full results here to find the best national park for you.