Excuse us, your dog would like to make an announcement. The first week of October is National Walk Your Dog Week!
Created in 2010 by Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige, National Walk Your Dog Week focuses on improving the health and well-being of America’s dogs by talking them (and ourselves) for a walk!
Why is This Week So Important?
Interestingly, the National Walk Your Dog Week precedes and addresses another important October “pet holiday” … namely, National Pet Obesity Awareness Day (on October 10th this year).
Did you know that being overweight or obese is an epidemic among American pets? According to a 2017 survey done by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention:
The consequences of excess weight or fat in dogs and cats leads to serious health issues including:
• Poorer Quality of Life
• Skin Disorders
• Orthopedic Disease
• Kidney Dysfunction
• Respiratory Disorders
• Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders
Do Your Dog (and Yourself) a Favor and Go For a Walk!
Get motivated and active during the National Walk Your Dog Week and enjoy benefits that include:
• One-on-one bonding time with your dog.
• An electronics-free activity; give your dog your full attention.
• The release of the feel-good, happy chemicals called “endorphins” … for you and your dog.
• Well-exercised dogs exhibit fewer negative behaviors (like aggression, boredom, destructiveness or anxiety separation).
• Keeping your dog’s weight in control (as well as your own).
• Giving your dog’s cardiovascular system (and of course yours!) a good workout.
• Fun exploration time; check out different dog parks, neighborhoods and trails to offer Fido stimulating new scents, sights and smells!
How Far is Far Enough (or Too Far)?
There’s really no “one-size-fits-all” answer. Each dog’s exercise needs are different. While at least 30 minutes a day is a good rule of thumb, here are the other factors you also need to consider:
• Your dog’s size (particularly their leg length; shorter legs equal more effort);
• Their breed and age;
• Their overall health and health history (your vet can best advise you here); and
• The type of walk (rough terrain, level sidewalks, etc.) and weather.
So get out and enjoy the beauty of fall and share pictures on the National Walk Your Dog Facebook page to encourage and motivate others. And while you’re at it, consider your efforts during the first week of October as the beginning of your training leading up to National Walk Your Dog Month in January!