January is Walk your Dog Month

What better way to start the year than with Walk your Dog Month!!!  It’s January and National Walk Your Pet Month is here again upon us. A perfect time for you and the dogs in your life to get the great health benefits it provides as well as a great bonding time. While walking your dog is a way to help your pup get rid of extra amounts of energy, it is also a great source of exercise.  According to data by Pet Obesity Prevention, above 50% of pets in America are overweight. We’ll admit that January might not be the best time for “Walk Your Dog Month.” What with the freezing cold, ice and snow, it’s hardly an enjoyable time to take your dog out for a walk.

As much of the country endures a deep freeze, the thought of venturing outdoors may send a shiver down your spine. Instead, most of us would rather hibernate until spring arrives.
With that said, your four-legged friend still needs daily exercise no matter what the thermometer reads. Whether it’s a walk around the block or playing with his favorite toys, daily activity offers your pup a plethora of health benefits related to digestive, behavioral and joint issues.  Taking your dog for a daily stroll helps your dog to stay active.  Consider what your dog does all day while you are away at work or running errands.  Certain dog breeds such as pugs or bulldogs are generally known to be lazy.  Once they hit old age, all they do is sleep.  Ensuring your dog stays physically stimulated and active is vital to their well-being and will prolong their life.

Did you know regular walks and exercise can help control weight, limit the risk of obesity and prevent digestive issues like constipation? Along with a healthy diet, regular exercise will help keep your dog happy and healthy for many years to come!
It’s hardly a secret that many dogs tend to engage in destructive or aggressive behavior. Does your pup love to gnaw on your favorite shoes? Scratch furniture? Those common behaviors could be the result of pent up energy.
You can help your dog spend that excess energy by taking him out for a walk in the park. A tired dog is less likely to act destructively or beg for attention. You’ll soon discover that exercise is a great way to curb unruly behavior and help your dog sleep better!

So, are you ready to kick off “Walk Your Dog Month”? Then, bundle up and get moving today. Your pup will thank you later!
The Top Ten Reasons To Take Your Pet On A Daily Walk

1. Gives dogs the social interaction that they crave
It's easy for you and your pup to become isolated during the winter months. To counteract the loneliness, make it a point to get outside even if the weather isn't perfect. Taking a stroll outside gives your pup more attention and interaction with you and any other brave souls who are out and about.

2. Provides socialization
If you have a puppy, it's particularly good to get him or her out on a walk to interact with new people, other dogs, and new situations. Don't wait for warmer months to take advantage of the natural socialization that will happen outdoors on a walk.

Even older dogs benefit for regular encounters with strangers to keep them from becoming too stodgy and inflexible.

3. Facilitates better training
Walks give you a great opportunity to show your dog who is the alpha of the pack – YOU! They also give you a chance to test out any harness training, leash training or other commands you and your dog have been working on. Start with short walks and just a few, clear commands. Be sure to praise your dog for a job well done. Training and walking will improve your relationship and your mutual satisfaction. Also, a dog that has been exercised is more likely to be calm and focused.  There’s time to let them sniff and time to walk. You can start out slow or slow down when you get to a favorite spot. With time, they will adapt to your rhythm if you train them to trot along beside you. If you need help with leash training Legend Acres offers training classes.  Visit www.LegendAcresBoarding.com for more information and registration. 

4. Conditions dogs to be less reactionary
Exposing your dog to a wide variety of sounds and sights while walking, such as to joggers, bicycles, and traffic will tend to keep them from being skittish and territorial. When your dog watches your peaceful demeanor with all of these circumstances, they will become desensitized to every little thing. This may translate into less barking at the mailman and reactions to every strange sound back at home.

5. Releasing pent-up energy
Exercise needs vary between dogs of different breeds and ages, but every dog benefits from a daily walk. Dogs that don't get their daily walk, may find unhealthy ways of expending the energy they have. Some dogs will become destructive or anxious. Remember - a properly exercised dog is a well-behaved dog!

6. Keeps your pet mentally and physically sharp
Exploring the outdoors will provide your dog is all kinds of things to sniff, see, and hear. When your pet gets to use his or her senses while getting a physical workout, the increased activity exercises both mind and body. As humans, we'll enjoy the same benefits!
Your pup’s mental well-being is as important as its physical well-being.  Walking your dog is an excellent way to stimulate their minds.  Dogs have a very good time sniffing the trees and sidewalks because every encounter outside of their home is a new encounter.
Remember it is January, and it gets dark early. If your dog walking activities take place in the predawn, late afternoon or evening hours, you have to ensure you are seen by pedestrians, motorists, bicyclists and other dog walkers. A lighted leash and lighted collar combination is good for your pup. It’s advisable to wear light-colored clothes, a reflective vest or jacket.
If your work schedule doesn’t allow for time to walk your dog daily or if you have a medical condition that gets in the way, there are many benefits to hiring a dog walker.

7. Lifts the spirits and Strengthens Bonding
Fresh air and natural light have a profound effect on our overall feeling of well-being. Being stuck inside in the winter can cause lethargy and depression in humans which is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The same condition has been documented in household pets.

Have you ever noticed your pets migrating around the carpet, following a patch of light? Aside from trying to stay warm, your pet may be trying to feel better mentally and emotionally.

Getting outside during the day allows light to pass through the eyes and into the brain which affects two mood hormones - melatonin and serotonin. Walking will do a world of good for both you and your pet!

Dog walking is a wonderful bonding experience for a pup and its owner.  It is also a good time to focus on training your dog while strengthening the bond between you two. To maximize this time, focus on your dog. Don’t walk and talk on the phone.  The more time you spend with your dog, the more attached they become to you. The bond strengthens when you give them love, affection, attention, and companionship, not just food and water.

8. Minimizes conflict between pets
If walking multiple dogs, their bond will be strengthened due to the feeling of being part of a pack. This will help prevent behavioral problems between them.

The cats at home will also appreciate your dog's relaxed demeanor when they return from their outing. 

9. Improves the length and quality of life for your dog
As noted above, a daily walk improves mental, emotional and social health. It should go without saying, but exercise improves physical health by improving circulation and fighting obesity.

Obese dogs have trouble moving, and the excess weight strains all of your dog's organs and joints. Staying fit will keep them happy and healthy for their entire lives, and extend their years with you.

10. Improves the length and quality of your life too!
The bonus of celebrating "Walk Your Pet Month" is that it gets you and your pet in the habit of walking. Sharing this ritual will provide you all of the benefits your dog experiences as well!

What about you? How will you participate in National Walk Your Pet Month? We suggest making it one of your goals this year to go out and walk your dog regularly for at least a few times each week.  Join the Legend Acres Active Dog Lifestyle Facebook Group for weekly group walks, dog play days, AKC Fit Dog, and More!!!  
Follow us on Instagram instagram.com/legendacres/Legend Acres"Your Pets are Ours"Kristi May MS, CVPM, LVMT, BSA, AHT, ABCDT, CHA Cert Riding Lesson Instructor, CHA EFM, Cert Equine Nutrition, Cert Animal Cognitive Behavior 152 Hurricane Creek RoadStewart, TN 37175931-232-6044 Office931-516-3064 Textwww.LegendAcresBoarding.com

Schedule Dog Training and Riding Lessons online!!!

Want to do more with your dogs? Join Legend Acres Active Dog Lifestyle for training, enrichment, monthly group walks, play days and more!!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/2181727312095888/

One Less Errand to Run!!! Save and Use ClinicID Code TV7AH to register for your Free Purina Account Today and have your Dog Food Delivered to your door for less! https://www.proplanvetdirect.com

Winter Events and Holiday Gift Ideas https://mailchi.mp/b8c78e92adca/winter-events-and-holiday-gift-ideas

Article References


Popular Posts