Walk Your Dog Month 2022
January is in full swing now and many of us will be feeling our moods declining in this post-festive period. It’s easy to see why people and their pets might be feeling low in the deepest winter months, especially after all the excitement of Christmas and New Year. So, how do we bust those winter blues and get ourselves prepared for the year ahead of us in a positive way? We think the perfect answer is Walk Your Dog Month 2022.
As most of us will know, one of the most effective ways of improving one’s mood is to engage in some form of physical activity. Exercise can help to improve our mood as it is responsible for releasing chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine which help to boost your sense of well-being. Regular exercise has also been shown to suppress hormones related to stress and anxiety too.
As any dog owner should know, regular exercise is of paramount importance for our furry friends too. Regular walks will improve their joint mobility and cardiovascular health, as well as keeping your dogs from being bored and potentially developing mental health issues.
Studies have also shown that a little human-animal interaction in your day can help to significantly improve your mood and there’s no doubt that your furry friends will love, and benefit from, some quality one-on-one time too.
What is Walk Your Dog Month?
Walk Your Dog Month is an initiative that was created to encourage dog owners, every January, to help tackle the issues of dog obesity and canine behavioural problems, stemming from lack of stimulation and regular interactions with new people and dogs.
Lack of regular run-outs can cause a whole host of issues in dogs including diabetes, joint and bone problems and cardiovascular abnormalities. With the added possibilities of mental health problems being caused by a lack of regular stimulation, the need to make sure your dog is getting the right amount of exercise really does matter.
With this in mind, Walk Your Dog Month is also a great way to remind us to regularly reassess our own routines when it comes to exercising our dogs, with some estimates indicating that less than 20% of dogs are actually getting the right amount.
How Much Exercise is too Much for our Dogs?
Sadly, not all dogs get a daily walk and even if they do research shows that the average length of time they are out, is less than 30 minutes. For some dogs, this might be the right amount of time to exercise, however, many dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, Huskies and Beagles, could need up to two hours of exercise every day to stay in peak physical condition. Even some smaller dogs, such as terriers, can need considerably more than 30 minute walks less than daily.
One important thing when assessing the amount of exercise necessary for your furry friends is the health of your dog. Dogs with pre-existing health conditions, such as joint problems or heart disease, will often need less exercise or specialist activities like hydrotherapy to keep them fit. It’s always best to consult your vet if you are worried about implementing a new exercise regimen for any of your canine companions.
Our advice is to do some research on your particular breed and then to make a plan that gradually increases the number, or length, of walks if you feel your current routine needs amending.
Safe Walking in Wintery Wonderlands
So, now we know that regular well-planned exercise can be beneficial for both our and our dog’s physical health, as well as being a much-needed winter boost for our mental healths. It’s time to pack our poo-bags, dust off the walking boots and make our way outdoors to enjoy the brisk and revitalising boost of a wintery walk.
Walking in the winter, however, does have its drawbacks. With the lack of daylight hours and the challenging weather conditions, it’s vitally important in the winter months to make sure you and your dog are prepared for everything that mother nature has to throw at you.
It’s important to make sure you both can easily be seen, reflective coats, harnesses, collars and leads are available for your dog to keep them well seen if confronted by traffic, as well as a range of lights from Orbiloc that can easily be attached to them, for an extra layer of protection and illumination.
Although most dogs can handle the British weather better than we can, it is still important to make sure they are not affected too harshly by the conditions outside. Try some of the Magic Paw Balm from WildWash, which helps to create a barrier to protect your dog’s sensitive areas, such as paws and noses, from harsh weather conditions, as well as moisturising and preventing cracked and calloused skin.