And that’s just what they’ll do this January because it’s National Walk Your Dog Month! So get up, grab the leash, and get movin’ this month and here’s why:
- It boosts metabolism and lowers the rate of weight gain. An Australian study of 822 participants found that the average person gains 3.5 pounds over four years – except those that walked to work on average gained 1.5.
- It boosts your mood. Robert Thayer, Ph.D., asked people to describe a problem in their life, then sent them on a brief 10-minute walk. When the participants returned they described their problems as less severe.
- Lowers the risk of heart disease. A 2013 study found that both daily runners and walkers lowered their blood pressure by at least 4.2 percent and their risk of heart disease by at least 4.5 percent.
Of course these benefits extend to Buddy too, plus he can exercise the natural instinct to get somewhat familiar with his surroundings. For those who may need a little help on a leash, here are a few quick tips to keep in mind to ensure you both enjoy this time. And remember: practice makes perfect, the more you two get out together the more your dog will improve.
- Curb their Enthusiasm. If your pet goes nuts when you pick up the leash, just stand still and don’t react until they relax. It’s also not a bad idea to sometimes pick up the leash and just set it down, so they don’t always associate it with getting out.
- Keep ‘em Close. Start them on a short lead at first so that, eventually, it’ll turn into a loose-leash walk because your pet is used to staying close. It’s also a good time to treat them so they want to stay close to your hand.
- Walk Quickly. Don’t give your pet the opportunity to dawdle and stop to smell every crack in the sidewalk; walk at a brisk pace and set the tone that now isn’t the time for all-out exploring.
We’d love to see you and your pet out and about this month on Facebook!
We just love hearing about you and your pets so much, that we’ve extended our Pet Step contest… AGAIN! It’s easy, submit a video telling us why you opened your heart and home to a pet for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card to the pet store of your choice! We will pick two winners each month through April!
Our December winners are Vinnie L. and Heather W.! Check out their stories below:
Thanks to everyone who has participated thus far. We’ve received so many wonderful submissions! You can submit your video here and wait to see it on the Pets Add Life Youtube channel.
Here at Pets Add Life, we’re all about improvement – and nothing calls for setting a new tone like the New Year. We know resolutions are totally overplayed, but it’s never a bad idea to try to be a healthier, happier human – and why not set the same goals for your pal? You are the boss, after all! Here are a few good places to start and some tips to help get started.
- Don’t Be a Chow Hound – Sadly, over half the pals out there are overweight and clearly their diet plays a big part in that. Take this opportunity to do a little research into optimal diets for your pet type, then read the label on their food to ensure they’re getting everything they need. And never discount portion control; we recommend feeding slightly less than the recommended feeding if you treat your pet and consider feeding even less if your pet doesn’t engage in a moderate amount of physical activity regularly, as most food companies recommend portions for active pets.
- Paws to the Pavement – Physical activity plays a major role in health and well being, making this a resolution that can benefit you both. Our advice is to be easy on yourself and start small, opt for two or three half-hour walks per week and work your way up to longer distances and/or more frequency. For cats, consider a toy that they have to chase or jump to get to and vow to play with them regularly. And small animals should always have something to facilitate physical activity, like a wheel or plastic ball to run in.
- Re-Train Their Brain – Training is your pet’s education, the smarter they are the more confident and capable they’re going to be. Plus, beyond their mental wellbeing, you’ll be a happier owner when your pet actually listens. Keep training sessions relatively short, about 15-30 minutes, and start small with things like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘watch me’. Remember to be patient (keep it fun!) and, once you both get the hang of it, you’ll start to appreciate the quality time.
What are some goals you’ve set for your pet in the New Year? Share with us on Facebook!
It’s getting down to the wire for holiday shopping, and we’re willing to bet there are still a couple of pet people needing to be checked off your list. Instead of aimlessly wandering the store aisles, we’ve compiled a ‘ruff’ guide to take the guesswork out of what to buy for the pets or pet people you just can’t think of what to get.
- Warmth. Some may disagree but we say certain dog’s coats could use a boost, especially shorthaired outdoorsy breeds (like Weimaraners and German Shorthaired Pointers) and small dogs. A new coat is a functional gift for the people who love to hike with their dogs year round or anyone who lives where it snows, really,
- Holiday Spirit. Who doesn’t love seeing a spirited pet?! Most pet owners overlook seasonal accessories, making them a perfectly thoughtful gift. Whether it’s a festive collar, sweater, or even Christmas-y nail polish, there’s plenty of gift options for a fashionable Fido.
- Comfort. A new bed is a great options for pals who like to cozy up when they sleep or get cold easily, or maybe a travel bed for the pet owner who frequently hits the road with their pet. And, there are so many design options it should be easy to find something that caters to their personal style.
- Entertainment. Of course new toys are always a great option, but put a little thought into it! From automatic ball launchers and laser light shows to indestructible bones and adorable stuffed (or stuffing-less) toys, you should have no trouble tailoring this gift to the pal you’re buying for.
For specific gift ideas under $25, check out this awesome gift guide from the American Pet Products Association.
You asked… we listened! Talking animal videos are back! Check out our latest featuring some of the most “talented” pets competing for the Xmas-factor title:
Share with your pals and comment below to tell us what you think!
Dear Santa Paws –
We’ve heard from our humans that if we’re good all year you’ll reward us with whatever we want, and it really made our tail wag! We put a lot of thought into our wish list and thought now would be a good time to send it off in the hopes of getting just a few things. We’ve been really good, Santa, honest! Ok, so maybe we caused a couple of new stains on the carpet and a few shoes went missing, but 12 months is a long time! We’re sure you have some sort of forgiveness plan in place, right Santa?
Anyway, like we said, we’ve put a lot of thought into what we want and it came down to three things:
- Endless chew toys.
- Warm homes and lots of love for all the unclaimed pals.
- Happiness and good health for all the pet parents.
That’s not too tall of an order, right Mr. Paws? Like we said, we’ve been on our best behavior in the hopes of getting these things – and it’s not really like us to be selfish. (We promise to share the chew toys! Well, maybe.)
We really hope this letter gets to you in one piece, Santa (some of the guys had a really hard time not eating it.) Give our love to your reindeer crew and let them know we are always down for a game of chase if they are. Be safe flying around the world, be sure to stick your tongue out and let the wind hit your lips – it’s our favorite.
The Pets who Add Life
We’ve received so many wonderful submissions for our Pet Step contest, making it hard to choose just two winners each month. That’s why we extended the contest through the end of the year! It’s easy, submit a video telling us why you opened your heart and home to a pet for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card to the pet store of your choice!
Our November winners are Derek E. and Andrea P.! Check out their stories below:
Thanks to everyone who has participated thus far. We’ve received so many wonderful submissions! You can submit your video here and wait to see it on the Pets Add Life YouTube channel!