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!