•What is the #NIDOGS1000 mile challenge about?

The challenge consists of walking 1000 miles during 2020 with your dog. You do it at your own speed in your own time. It’s not a competition. The ethos behind the challenge is to promote mental and physical wellbeing for both human and dog, by motivating you to Get Up • Get Out • Get On in the outdoors.

•I’m not very fit and its sounds like a lot of miles to cover.

The 1000 miles can be accumulated very easily just by going about your day to day work/activities. Where possible your dog will join you on the challenge. It’s about getting you moving, and achieving at least 2.74 miles per day/19.23 miles per week/83.3 miles per month. Keep track of your miles using various apps on your phone such as StepApp, Health App or using devices such as FitBit or Garmin Trackers. There is a downloadable tracker on the website too to pin to your fridge. Always consult your Doctor before undertaking any form of exercise, especially if you haven’t been active for a while. The Challenge is about YOU and your dog. You set your own rules and complete the 1000 miles the best way that fits your lifestyle.

•What if I fall behind in reaching the targets?

The targets are a guideline to keep you on track to acheive 1000 miles by December 2020. There will be days when you walk more and others less miles. During the darker Winter months, achieving the daily miles target is a fantastic achievement, so just think what you can do when the lighter days arrive and sunshine! Plus, a lovely walk on the beach or in the Mournes, can clock up more miles that you realise, helping you to achieve more miles on better days.

•How do I know if anyone else is taking part in the challenge?

Both the Dog Friendly NI Facebook and Instagram are sharing your daily pictures using #NIDOGS1000 and there is a closed group on the Dog Friendly NI Facebook page too, for those taking part in the challenge. There will be ‘Woof Walks‘ meet ups arranged, to keep each other motivated, and to meet up and meet each other too.

•Do I just do the challenge or do I need to register for it?

You can register to take part in the challenge online here. When you register, it will confirm your participation, and you will also receive news and updates about the challenge. Being registered will also mean you receive exciting news for registered participants which will be coming soon!

•Is there a fee for taking part?

No. Taking part is completely voluntary and free. Registration is free.

•My dog is elderly and can’t walk too far?

Our senior dogs are so precious. Taking them out and about for short distances benefits them when they can manage it. As your dog’s owner, you will know what distances they can manage. Do not force your dog to walk further than it can. In those circumstances, walk more on your own, join the woof walk meet ups with other dog owners, and let your dog join you for the walks they can manage.

•What happens when I complete the Woof Walk 1000 miles challenge?

Congratulate yourself! Fantastic achievement. When you have clocked up 1000 miles, then send an email to info@dogfriendlyni.co.uk. A certificate will be available to you, to mark the completion of the challenge.