Happy New Year! As you set new resolutions for your health and happiness, it’s important to think about your dog’s health too. January is National Walk Your Dog Month, and what better way to kick off the new year than finding new ways to get outside and go camping with your dog? Check out these five recommendations on how you can start the healthy habit of walking your pup.
1. Get Some Fresh Air
While it may be a little chilly, getting outside for some fresh air can improve your breathing, blood pressure and heart rate. The winter weather can cause us all to want to stay indoors, yet the stuffy air and heat can be confining and claustrophobic for your dog. Make it a daily habit to go outside for a short walk to get some fresh air if the weather where you live will allow it. Your lungs (and your pup) will appreciate it!
2. Increase Your Training
Thinking about training your dog and learning some new tricks? If your pup isn’t already leash trained, consider walking your dog and teaching them how to be comfortable on leash. Not only will other pedestrians and their pups be more approachable, but your dog will become more knowledgeable over time to learn other skills and tricks. Walking your dog on a leash is much safer, especially in high traffic areas, and will allow other dogs to enjoy your company.
3. Move Your Body and Your Mind
No matter if your goal is to lose weight, get in your steps or to simply explore outside more, taking your dog on frequent walks has surprising health benefits. Moving your body and getting daily exercise allows you to release energy and keeps you from feeling sluggish. Walking also helps release endorphins in your brain to improve your mood and reduce stress.
4. Check Out New Trails
Walking your dog doesn’t have to be boring! If you’re used to walking the same path every week, consider researching some new parks and trails to switch up your routine. Take the weekend and go on a road trip with your dog for a fun-filled outdoor adventure. A change of scenery can make a huge difference!
5. Break in New Gear
Did you get a new harness or dog backpack for Christmas? Break in your winter dog gear by making the habit of going on a walk with your pup in his or her new pack. If they haven’t worn a dog backpack before, make sure to empty the pack and then gradually add weight to make sure your dog is comfortable.