This January is 'Walk Your Dog Month', so we felt inspired to talk about the power of this great activity.
The truth is, every month is 'Walk Your Dog Month' when you live with a pooch, but we like to remind ourselves of the amazing things walkies can do for us. So wrap up warm, grab your dog's lead and set yourself off for a lovely stroll with us.
Why is walking your dog so important?
Going outside in the fresh air is an instant mood lifter. Combined with brisk walking, it's the perfect exercise to keep us fit and healthy. More specifically, walking has all these benefits: it helps burn calories, strengthens our muscles (including our heart), lowers our blood pressure and reduces stress.
A dog that doesn't receive enough exercise can easily become frustrated, leading to behavioural problems. Not to mention the health issues that lack of exercise can result in: from obesity to osteoarthritis to diabetes.
Walking is also good for the mind! Dogs are naturally very curious, so being able to explore their surroundings through smells, sights and textures is stimulating for them. The social aspect of being outside is rewarding too, as pups get the chance to interact with fellow canines and bond with their owner. Have you noticed how relaxed you feel after a nice walk?
Dog walking tips
- We recommend walking your dog at least twice a day for a minimum of 15 minutes each walk. But every pooch is different, so try to adapt your walk to their preferences, age and fitness level. Some breeds, such as German Shepherds or Springer Spaniels, have bundles of energy, and may need longer and more vigorous walks. By observing your dog before and after walks, you'll be able to gauge what is right for them.
- Be mindful that dogs must be kept on a lead in designated public areas such as parks (local councils will indicate this with signage). In these cases flexi leads are ideal as you can control the length of the lead, allowing your dog freedom to roam.
- Supervise your dog around children and other pets. Your dog may be friendly towards fellow canines, but other dogs may not be so keen! So best avoid confrontation.
- Before you head out, make sure you have poop bags at hand. We like using biodegradable ones when possible.
- Add an ID tag to your dog’s collar, so he can be identified in case he gets lost
- Carry fresh water for you and your dog to drink and avoid walking in extreme heat
- Use flashing lights or reflective coats when walking in dark early mornings or evenings
- Bring treats and toys to make walks more exciting
- If you're a keen jogger, check out your local area for new routes whilst walking or running with your dog
- Stop and smell the roses. Yes, literally, but we also mean appreciating your pup's company and enjoying the great outdoors (or nearest park!)
We think each walk is an adventure. And one that is always better with a furry sidekick by your side.