National Walk Your Dog Week: Promoting Health & Happiness

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October 1st through the 7th is National Walk Your Dog Week, Goodnewforpets is participating by compiling valuable information for pet parents on the health benefits daily walks provide for you and your dog. Plus, daily walks and exercise with your four-legged friend encourages bonding, reinforces training and can benefit your pet’s behavioral training.

Being healthy is as important for you as it is for your dog, so why not make it fun! Daily walks and exercise promotes health and happiness whether you have two legs or four.

Dogs are great at providing strong motivation to maintain their owner’s exercise program – who can resist a happy dog, panting with excitement at the front door? They make great walking companions and can serve as the perfect social support. So if you are having difficulty sticking to your fitness program, why don’t you try doing your routines with your dog? Unlike your human buddies who are likely to skip exercise sessions due to appointments or bad weather, dogs will not give you any excuse to miss out on your daily exercise.

What Owners Gain from Regular Exercise

Who can resist the look of excitement a dog gives when you get the leash out? And honestly, you couldn’t ask for a better walking buddy and motivator then your dog. According to the World Health Organization, adequate exercise to promote good health for pet parents and everyone include:

  • 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily for children 5 to 17 years old
  • 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week for adults 18 to 65 years old, plus strengthening exercises two days per week
  • 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week, with modifications as needed in seniors over 65 years old, plus flexibility and balance exercises

If owners can stick to the recommended routine, they can benefit from the following:

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer by 75%
  • Reduced risk of diabetes by 49%
  • Reduced risk of heart disease by 35%
  • Reduced risk of colon cancer by 22%

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With the non-judgmental nature and unconditional love from pets, owners can also obtain various mental health benefits such as self-esteem from the support provided by their dogs. As a matter of fact, research has shown that stroking and petting your adorable furry friend can help lessen physiological signs of stress like high blood pressure.

What Dogs Get from Exercising With You

  • Physical and Mental Well-being – Because many dog breeds have the potential for numerous health concerns, regular exercise can contribute immeasurably to their well-being. In addition, it’s through sufficient physical stimulation that they also get to expend their excess energy which will help them stay happy and out of trouble.
  • Socializing and Training Opportunities –  Socialization is one of the keys to helping dogs become well-rounded pets. Through regular exercise with them, you can expose your pooch to new people, settings, and experiences which is crucial for his growth. Aside from this, your dog will get the chance to learn new things and bond with you.
  • Reduction of Behavior Issues and Longevity – Destructive canine behaviors like excessive barking and digging are often caused by boredom. By taking your dog out for a walk, you give them opportunities to do something positive instead. Also, since your pooch gets fitter and healthier as he exercises with you regularly, you’ll both live happier, longer lives.

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Dog-walking Tips

  1. Aim for at least a 30-minute walk, five times every week.
  2. Always keep your dog on a leash, unless in designated off-leash parks.
  3. Supervise your dog around children and other dogs.
  4. Bring plastic bags to clean up after your pet.
  5. Ensure that your dog wears his collar with ID tag all the time.
  6. Avoid going out in extreme cold or heat – Night walks could be a good option when faced with extreme heat
  7. Don’t forget to bring cool, fresh water for you both to drink.
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