National Walk Your Pet Month is here and what a great way to start the year!
Goodnewsforpets will be sharing information and tips all month long on staying active with your pet during National Walk Your Pet Month and throughout the year.
Get up, get moving and don’t let the plummeting winter temperatures slow you down. Dogs need plenty of exercise throughout the year and, the best way to keep them active in winter is to take them for regular walks. Even a short walk around the block on a cold day can make a big difference. For those pet parents that avoid the brisk winter weather, there is no excuse for you and your pooch not to get active!
Benefits of exercise:
- Improves strength, fitness, flexibility and movement
- Increases energy levels
- Helps decrease stress and can help improve you and your pets mood
- Improves sleep
- Prevents boredom
- Decreases bad behavior
- Improves the bond between you and your pet
- Prevents obesity
A 2019 study reports that most dog owners spend close to 300 minutes each week walking their dogs. And when compared to the weekly walking of people without dogs, that amounts to 200 more minutes of weekly walking! Conducted by exercise scientists with the University of Liverpool and other institutions, the study involved about 700 participants that answered questionnaires and were given activity monitors.
Researchers found because of those walks, the dog owners met or exceeded national health guidelines which call for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. More surprisingly, the study found that dog owners also spent slightly more time than non-dog folks engaging in additional physically active hobbies like cycling, jogging or going to the gym.
Adults weren’t the only members of the household to benefit, participants with dogs shared that children were also more active than those without dogs. Children whose families owned dogs walked about 100 minutes per week and played with their canines another 200 minutes.
Another study from the University of Missouri reported people who walk with dogs are more consistent in their exercise routine than those who walk with a human. Not hard to believe as any pet parent will tell you there’s no better company than your furry friend.
Goodnewsforpets would like to take a moment to caution potential pet parents against getting a dog for the sake of exercise. Also, exercise safety is important for you and your dog, check with your veterinarian to choose which exercise is right for your pet.
So, begin this year with a pledge — better health for you and your dog — starting with National Walk Your Pet Month!