Walk your dog month
January is walk your dog month. The idea is to raise awareness of why it is important to do so. Though most of us, if not just about all of us, know that a dog needs exercise, but a recent survey from the RSPCA revealed that only 62% of dogs in the UK are walked daily, and 22% of dogs are walked just once a week. Now, personal circumstances of course can influence stats like this, and it could be the survey was asked to an owner who has had a change of health circumstances. As part of our awareness month, we would like to highlight why dogs need exercise, the health benefits, the risks if they do not, and quite importantly we will discuss the health benefits for you, the owner!
How much exercise should my dog get?
This is quite a specific question and an answer depends on a number of things. How old are they? Are they healthy? What climate do they live in? There are plenty of books and articles online for specific breeds that will touch upon those questions. The PDSA have a great guide to breeds and have a general rule of thumb for specific breeds on their website. Click here to have a read of that.
Why is exercise important for my dog?
Exercise not only keeps your pet healthy, it is also a mental stimulation for them. A dog will spend on average 21 – 23 hours a day in your house and garden, so when they do get to go outside the smells, sounds and sights help stimulate their senses. This is important because a bored dog can become destructive. Exercise also helps maintain a healthy heart, weight and joints. Much like us humans!
Why is walking my dog a health benefit to me?
Exercise has many well documented benefits to us humans. One of the more recently discussed benefits is mental health. Times are tough for everyone and mental health issues are at a record high. Having a dog not only provides company, but a reason to get up and get outside. Dogs are social animals for the best part, so they can also help us to make friends or to have contact with others. Of course not all dogs are social and can be a little nervous, so always take care and remember, you know your dog best!
Walks in my local area
Wherever you are reading this from we are certain you will have a park or countryside within distance of a short walk or even a short drive. Dog friendly beaches are in abundance in the North East and here in Northumberland you can find many walks on Hadrians Wall, the Penine Way or in the Cheviot hills. In Hexham you will see plenty of dog walkers on Tyne Green, or over in Prudhoe you will see many dog walkers on the Tyne trail which connects Prudhoe to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Give Google a search for ‘dog walks near me’, or head over to this website here which has a list of good dog walks up and down the country.
Of course among the good here, there are the obvious things to mention. Always take care when outdoors, nature can be unforgiven! We have veterinary practices in Hexham, Stocksfield and Bellingham. This covers a large area of the North, West, East, South and Central Northumberland. Kielder and other wooded areas in the North Tyne see a number of adder bites, so always take care and do a little research before setting off to a new area.