The obesity epidemic in the United States is reaching epidemic proportions in both pets and people. Whether in part to our long and cold winters or intentional neglect, pet obesity is a tremendous problem. One easy way to combat this issue is to hit the pavement with your dog at least 30 minutes each day. Here are a few important considerations as you commit to better health for your pet!
To avoid an accident or a cold-related illness, you’ll want to pay attention to seasonal safety. This begins with your dog's paws. Even though he may protest, consider covering them with dog boots to protect against the chill caused by ice and snow. If you go without booties, be sure to trim extra fur between your dog's toes. This stops ice from sticking to his toes. Our online store features a Dermoscent Bio Balm which helps keep your dog’s feet protected when used before and after a daily walk.
It is important to pay attention to the signals your dog sends that she's in danger of developing frostbite or hypothermia. Some of these including quicker panting, whining, anxiety, discomfort of lifting of paws, disorientation, or sitting down while on the walk. If any of these occur, head home at once.
Benefits to Your Dog’s Emotional Health
Dogs who do not get necessary daily exercise can develop problem behaviors such as excess chewing or destruction of household objects, eliminating in the house, separation anxiety, or aggressiveness. Before getting frustrated with your dog, think about if he's getting enough regular exercise. Daily outings together increases the chance for social interaction with other dogs and people. Walking improves your dog's confidence since it exposes them to a wide range of people, places, situations, and weather conditions. This gives you a chance to practice training and simple commands. Of course, the added benefit of having the opportunity to get your undivided attention is what your pet wants most of all!
A Daily Walk is Good for YOU, Too!
No matter what the weather conditions, a brisk half-hour walk daily helps lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and Seasonal Affective Disorder in humans. January may be chilly, but it's also National Walk Your Dog Month. If you do not normally take your dog for a walk every day, the flipping of the calendar to 2019 is the best opportunity to make a new habit.
The next time you're tempted to skip your dog's daily walk, think about the important benefits your pet will miss: It's not exactly warm and sunny this time of year, yet your dog still wants all of the benefits he receives from a daily walk. As always, please contact Grantsburg Animal Hospital at (800) 924-0588, if we can be of further assistance.
Photo Credit: LottaVess