January is International Dog Walking Month. It’s a great time to think about all the health benefits for you and your dog, of regular walking.
As the UK is in a National Lockdown, a daily walk is even more important for everyone’s wellbeing. The fresh air and physical movement are good for mental and physical health for humans and animals.
Here are 10 ways to enjoy Dog Walking Month:
Change your routine
Maybe January is a good time to find a new walk? You are allowed to meet up with one other person outside, and this might give you the confidence to try a new route. This not only makes things more interesting for you, but gives your dog new smells and sensations too.
2. Teach your dog some new tricks
Teaching them some new tricks is an opportunity for you to not only spend some time together but to burn off energy as well. This is a great way for you and your pup to get some exercise. Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures, you can teach them skills instead of just tricks – imagine they were an assistance dog and see what ideas you come up with…
3. Dogs can see colours
It’s a popular myth that dogs are colour blind, in fact they can see in colour, but not as vividly as humans. Walking a new route to include new views and colours can actually be very stimulating for both of you.
4. Improve mental well being
Physical activity releases endorphins that create a state of happiness. Because your dog is cooped up in the house a lot more during the Winter, every walk will definitely improve their spirits. For humans we also benefit from fresh air, it can improve our sleep and we release the same endorphins.
5. Over an hour a day
The average dog walker covers 9 hours a week – that is about 36 miles – which is fantastic. If you have a step counter or similar why not challenge yourself to add a little time or distance?
6. Monday Blues
Monday is the most skipped day when it comes to dog walking. January 18th is also called Blue Monday, as it’s supposed to be the toughest day of the whole year for low mood. Maybe making Monday walks the longest, or the one we make with friends or family would help us all to banish those blues?
7. Extra bonding time
Walking together is a bonding experience between us and our dogs. The more time walking together, the greater the bond will be. During this time (apparently) most of us also talk to our dogs, which enhances the bond even more. If you add a nice brush or a treat when you get home – you can see how close you will become.
8. Meeting other people
Even if you don’t walk with a specific person, you are likely to see other dog walkers or people out and about. A quick ‘hello’ or a wave can be a nice gesture and if you walk in your local community you can quickly feel a deeper connection to the place and it’s people.
9. Good exercise
As we’ve already said, walking is good exercise for you and your dog. Did you have a little too much to eat over the holiday season? Don’t fret! Dog Walking Month is the perfect opportunity to shed a few pounds. Your dog may also need to trim up after too many treats…
10. Be safe
It’s always important to make sure you keep yourself and your pet safe while out and about, especially during the darker mornings and nights. A reflective strip on a collar or lead, as well as sensible clothing (not all black) can be a life saver. Some owners have flashing LED collars so they can’t loose their pooch when off the lead at dusk or in the snow. If the floor is icy, it may be too cold to walk your dog – consider their sensitive foot pads, just as you would in the heat of the Summer.
Keep In Touch
We love to see your photographs, do follow our Facebook Page and share any pictures of you and your dog on a walk x We are going to be starting a regular weekly blog post, if you have any suggestions for posts you’d like to read do let us know!