Pet of the Month: January is Walk Your Dog Month!

January is Walk Your Dog Month! Don’t let the cold temperatures of winter deter you from exercising your furry friend. Walking your dog is extremely important. Read on for an explanation  by the Animal Foundation:

Mental Stimulation: Regularly walking your dog  provides a basic foundation for physical and mental health. Like a child, your dog wants to know the world. If they are confined to the house for too long, your dog may get bored, and boredom can lead to destructive behavior. Your dog depends on you to take them out to explore the sights, smells, and sounds of the world. This is why it’s also good to vary the places you take your pet as much as possible.

Physical Health: Remember that a sedentary pooch can quickly become an overweight one, which can  cause health problems. Even if your dog is active inside the home, they still need another outlet for pent-up energy. You’ll benefit from having a well-exercised dog, as tired dogs tend to behave better, and you’ll help your pet avoid unnecessary weight gain.

Socialization: While out walking, your pooch is most likely going to meet other dogs. This is a great opportunity to help your dog learn acceptable ways of socially interacting with new animals. It will also help build doggy confidence so your pet will be less afraid to make friends.

Training Opportunities: When walking your dog, consider it a training opportunity. Dogs aren’t born knowing how to walk on a leash, so you’ll have to teach your dog how to follow your lead. On these walks, you can begin teaching commands like, “sit”, “stay”, and “heel”, especially if you take treats along to use during the process.

There are several ways that you can get your pup out and about for regular exercise:

  1. Change Up Your Route: By changing your route, dogs have new scents to discover. Dogs learn by discovering their surroundings and need some excitement every now and then.
  2. Get Some Company: Walk with a friend. Not only will this give your dog company but it will give you some company as well.
  3. Have a Dog Sweater Party in the Park: Now, that’s another reason to walk all the way to the park! Make sure you have plenty of treats.

Click here to learn more tips and about the history of Walk Your Dog Month!