5 Ways Daily Walks Improve Your Pets' Health


If you’re like one of the millions of people out there who made a list of New Year’s resolutions this year, it’s pretty likely that one of your goals was to exercise more. If you've made it this far with your resolution, congratulations! If you have already failed at keeping to your list, don't worry, you're not alone.

According to US News, a whopping 80% of all New Year's resolutions are forgotten by the second week in February. While intentions of staying active are admirable, making time for the gym is often sacrificed for long hours at the office. And with winter and frigid temperatures now gripping many of us, the idea of spending time outdoors becomes far less appealing. We often use the winter months as an excuse to hibernate. Our lofty goals of getting in shape are pushed back to spring when the temps outside are more conducive to activities. But have you ever thought about how your activity level directly impacts the health of your pet? Your pet quite literally follows your lead. If you are a couch potato, it’s pretty likely that your pet will be as well. So instead of packing on the extra pounds this winter, why not get out and get moving with your pet. January is National Walk Your Pet Month, so there's no better time to start than now.

If you are new to walking with your pet, it’s fine to start off slow. Most healthy small dogs will benefit greatly from a 30-minute walk (weather permitting) three times per week. Sporting and herding breeds will require a bit more time and attention. Keep your pet securely leashed during walks and ensure they are wearing proper identification at all times. In colder climates and depending on their breed, your pet may require a coat and paw booties to protect them from inclement weather. Practice common sense during cold weather outings. And always remember to consult your veterinarian before starting any strenuous exercise regime with your pet.

Besides the obvious health benefits, below are five examples of why walking your pet is great for the mind, body, and soul.