It’s a new year full of resolutions. If you’re like most people, your resolutions probably include something about fitness, weight loss or getting healthier, so why not include your best friend? Dogs are the perfect personal trainers, and January is National Walk Your Pet Month, so it’s time to throw out excuses, throw on a coat or sweater and head outside to take your pooch for a walk.
Young dogs often need at least an hour of exercise each day, while some breeds may need more. Age and fitness levels determine how long and vigorous your outing should be.
Benefits of Walks for You and Your Pet
Improved Health – everyone knows regular exercise helps improve your overall health, and it’s true for your dog, too. Regular exercise reduces stress levels and risk factors for many chronic health conditions in both pets and people.
Weight Control: Inactivity breeds excess weight. The easiest way to get regular exercise is to get outside and take a walk. You can always start off with shorter walks and build up to longer excursions. You’ll be glad you did.
Improved Digestion: Believe it or not, regular walks can help with digestion and constipation. Don’t forget to bring a bag to pick up any waste from your dog.
Reduce Destructive Behavior: Dogs that get regular walks are less likely to engage in destructive behaviors, which are often a result of boredom. Regular walks also keep you from vegging out on the sofa.
Relaxation & Better Sleep: Burning off excess energy with a daily walk helps calm excitable pets, and promote better sleep habits.
Socialization: There is an old song from Sesame Street that asks the question: Who are the people in your neighborhood? Grab the leash, and get outside with your dog to find out! Each walk is an opportunity for you and your pet to meet other dogs and people, and to improve confidence.