Whether you’ve got a pooch who wears fancy jumpers, a big blonde Labrador or a tiny handbag-sized companion, this month is all about them. If you didn’t know before, now you do: January is National Walk Your Dog Month.
All you doggy people are probably a bit baffled, as being responsible pet owners you walk your four-legged companions daily – but what with the cold, dark days ahead, it could be tempting to delay your dog walk or cut it short.
Walk Your Dog Month started in the USA, with the aim of preventing behavioural problems and obesity. Now, it has reached our rainy shores, and it’s all about getting you and your dog out and about.
In this quick read, we look at the importance of dog walks and how to make them more fun.
Does your dog need more exercise?
Just like us, dogs need regular exercise, the time and length of which depends on their size, breed and age. So, if you’re a pet owner who only takes your dog for a quick bathroom break or a brisk walk around the block, you could be adding to their weight-gain problems. Add an extra 10 to 20 minutes to your regular dog walk to ensure they’re getting an extra workout.
Also, if you notice that your dog is chewing on more shoes than normal (or getting into the bins, gnashing on a chair leg etc.) their behaviour could be a sign of needing more physical activity. Sadly, some dogs may become more withdrawn if they don’t get the right amount of physical stimulation, and no one wants a depressed dog.
Make walks more fun
When it comes to dog walks, it’s easy to stick to the same route each day, but that’s not much fun for anyone. Explore somewhere new, whether it’s a park, a street of fancy houses or a big open field, the change in routine will liven up that cold daily walk.
Other ways to brighten up your walk include taking a friend, buying your dog a new fetch toy or doggy jumper to wrestle them into.
Tip: As it’s a special awareness month, why not make your walks worthwhile? Start a fundraiser for your favourite pet charity, so every walk you do in January raises money for something worthwhile.
Walking is the easiest form of exercise for you and your dog. Track your footsteps with a watch or your phone, gradually increase the time you spend walking and you’ll hit 10,000 steps easily.
At Rochills, we love a good walk. How do you make your dog walks fun? Comment below.