Dr Jacqueline Boyd
BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, PGCHE, CHES, FHEA, MRSB
In-house Nutritional Consultant
May is national walking month. Sometimes it is easy to forget just how good walking is. This got us thinking about the importance of walking not only for our pooches, but also for ourselves!
It can be hard to feel motivated to do regular exercise. However, we have found the paw-fect personal trainers! Our pooches are ideal walking partners. There will always be a wagging tail ready and waiting for you by the front door, and you can be guaranteed that they won’t pull a “sickie” or be “too busy” to join you for your workout!There are many benefits to going for regular walks for both you and your dog, which you can read below:
1. It keeps both you and your dog fit and healthy.
We are told that humans should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, and although every dog breed is different, they too should have between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise each day. So what better way to get your daily exercise in, than with your furry friend? Through walking together, you are both burning excess fat; in a way which feels more relaxed than a confined gym.
2. It helps you both psychologically and physically.
Through walking together, strong bonds are made. Your dog will be able to explore many different sights, sounds and smells, whilst spending quality time with their favourite person. Through this mental stimulation, most dogs will come back in a far calmer state of mind; reducing the likelihood of behavioural problems. It’s not just good for your pooch either, it’s also a great way to improve your mood and reduce stress; due to the positive hormones released when exercising.
3. You can make new friends.
It can be hard to start conversation with someone you have never met before. What do you talk about? How do you even start the conversation? A lot of individuals are very happy to meet new people, although it’s the thought of starting the conversation that puts many off. Fear not, dogs are a fantastic talking point and a great way to meet new people. If you go for a similar walk, at a similar time each day, you are more than likely to see others out with their dogs doing the same thing. Your dogs may start to show an interest in each other, or want to have a quick sniff of one another, which is a great conversation starter; you never know, that small talk about your pooches might grow into a brilliant friendship!
4. It creates strong bonds between you and your dog.
Walking gives you the opportunity to spend precious one-to-one time with your dog and allows the perfect chance to train them. Put your phone on silent, and don’t let yourself be distracted by anything. Just give yourselves time to completely focus on each other. Give plenty of praise for good behaviour, which will encourage them to continue to make good decisions. Make the most of these moments together, after all you are your dog’s favourite person!