January is Walk Your Dog Month and what better way to kick start the New Year by getting out in the great outdoors and walking your dog!
With the obvious health benefits, dog walking provides to both you and your dog, this awareness month is a great way to help dust off the winter blues by getting out and about and enjoying the fruits of Mother Nature!
Walking Your Dog Regularly Makes Your Dog Healthier
Did you know that 56% of domesticated dogs in the United States are overweight or obese? That is more than 50 million dogs across this Great Nation! At Companion Animal Medical Centre in Milford, OH, we believe we can improve upon this in the future with a little awareness and self-discipline. Dog walking is one of the easiest ways and most common ways to help keep your dog healthy and in shape.
Clinical obesity results in more secondary conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and certain forms of cancer. Pets with obesity also have reduced quality of life and shorter life expectancy.
The Most Common Reason People Don’t Walk Their Dog
The #1 reason given for not being able to exercise pets appropriately is simply “being too busy”. Walk Your Dog Month is a great opportunity to set yourself some small goals with your dog and hopefully change your habits long-term to the benefit of you both.
It is important to note that before starting any exercise regime, even dog walking, it would be worthwhile checking with your veterinarian to make sure that your dog doesn’t have any underlying health issues.
Dog Walking Tips
Things to consider while dog walking are wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing, leashes, and collars. This makes you and your pet more visible to cars driving by or pulling in or out of their driveway. Also, try to stay in well-lit public areas and have access to fresh clean water if possible.
Protect your dogs’ feet from ice, snow, salt, and other ice-melting products, and grit as all may cause nasty sores. Special booties are available or simply wipe down their paws after each walk with warm water and pat dry. It’s really important to clean any salt or other ice-melting agents from your dog’s paws after your walk! Also, make sure that your dog is warm or cool enough on your walk as well, especially senior dogs with osteoarthritis.
Walking Your Dog Is Also Great For Your Health!
Walking your dog is just as good for your mental health as it is for your physical wellbeing! Many people find it therapeutic and consider it to be a bonding experience with their pet. Not to mention, who knows what kind of interesting conversations you may find yourself in being out and about and greeting the neighbors as you pass by. You might just make another ‘best friend!’
Lastly, Have Fun!!!