Walking the Dog

Jan 16, 2016

It makes a dog happy to go for a walk - look at that smile! (photo credit www.buzzfarmers.com)
Credit www.buzzfarmers.com [Flickr]

Taking your dog for regular walks is good for both you and your pet.   It can help both of you live longer and healthier, so you will have more time to spend together enjoying each other's company.

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It’s the middle of January – how are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? A lot of us resolved to lose some weight, especially after all the holiday celebrations. Well, January is National Walk Your Dog Month. You may have heard the saying, “if you’re overweight, your dog’s not getting enough exercise.” So, your pet could help you out with your weight loss program. After all, who needs a fitness trainer or a treadmill when you have a furry friend?

Walking is one of the best exercises we humans can do. And studies have shown that people who walk their dogs actually walk about twice as much as those who don’t have a canine friend. Walking also has benefits for your four-footed companion.

Beyond the obvious benefit of getting some exercise, going for a walk gives your dog an outlet for its energy. Especially if it stays cooped up indoors all day, the energy that builds up could lead to some undesirable behavior or anxiety. In addition to some much needed mental and physical stimulation, walking can satisfy a dog’s natural desire to explore. Your pet is safely exposed to lots of interesting sights, sounds and smells.

Dogs are social animals that want and need our attention and affection. Walking is something you can share that helps to build or increase the bond between the two of you. It’s also great for socializing with other people. Conversations begin with comments about your dog and develop into friendships.

If you need more motivation, take a good look at your pet. You may not be the only one who needs to shed a pound or two. Your best friend might benefit from some additional exercise, too. So, we could turn that saying around – if your dog is overweight, you’re not getting enough exercise. An active lifestyle will keep you both healthier and happier.

And if you don’t have a dog, visit your local animal shelter, where you’ll find lots of great companions who would just love to be at the other end of your leash to share a daily walk with you, when you’re speaking of pets.

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