Now that the summer is becoming a distant memory and the nights are drawing in, the desire to get out and about for a walk is getting smaller and smaller. We wanted to remind you why it is essential that you keep active and give you a few tips and tricks to get your motivation going and that tail wagging!
As we know, all dogs need exercise, old or young, small or large. But have you asked yourself why?…
Physically – Our pets are exactly the same as us. To stay healthy, they need plenty of physical activity. This helps keeps the weight of your four-legged companion in the healthy range, ensuring, among other things, that their joints are in tip top shape into their later years.
Psychological – There is nothing better in helping us relieve stress and anxiety than a good session in the gym, a fitness class or just a long walk. Our dogs also use exercise in the same way! This health benefit will help reduce hyperactivity and stress which can lead to better behaviour and a reduction chewing things, like furniture for example.
How do we keep at it…? The team here at Pharmavet we have put together our top tips to getting out and about through winter:
- Make it a challenge and keep a record of your routes – there are a whole load of free apps out there to that can help you do this. This will not only give you some motivation to beat your personal best, but you can also watch yourself and your dog get fitter – go on, set yourself a challenging goal!
- Get some gear – Having the right gear is crucial, for both of you. A good warm coat and waterproof ensures that you are toasty and dry during the walk. A good pair of walking shoes also makes sure that your paws can make it through the weeks of walking. Also, gear for your pet can be a good way to increase the enjoyment of the walk – such things as a ball thrower gets them doing double the exercise. Think also about protective clothing for those dog breeds and shapes who are more prone to feeling the cold, especially if you live in a very cold area with regular snow and ice. Remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on this – you can get kitted out inexpensively.
- Get a Paw-Pal – Everything is easier in twos: the same goes for going for a walk. Get hold of a friend, family member or a member of the local doggie community and arrange joint walks. Having a dog means that you have already got something in common before you start and then you can motivate each other to get out and about.
- Things to remember and consider:
- Plan to your ability – You need to plan your walks to both yours and your pet’s ability. However, don’t underestimate your dog’s requirements. Even dogs that suffer from such things as arthritis will need some exercise (your vet will be able to help to work out how much and what is best for your companion).
- Safety first – The biggest consideration at this time of year is to be seen. Make sure that you and your pooch have appropriate high visibility kit/ lights etc on. Also, consider the equipment that you need for longer walks, such as a torch, waterproof, water and snacks (for both of you!).
Happy walkies! 🐾🐾🐾